Sharks win in Kings Park quagmire

    2015-02-21 20:54

    Durban - Marcell Coetzee scored two tries as the Sharks bounced back from defeat in their opening match of the Super Rugby season last week to beat the Lions 29-12 in a rain-drenched contest at King's Park in Durban on Saturday night.

    AS IT HAPPENED: Sharks v Lions

    The hosts were stunned by the Cheetahs on the same field seven days earlier, but did not make the same mistake twice despite the difficult conditions.

    Odwa Ndungane and Cobus Reinach crossed for first-half scores, before flank Coetzee's double added to nine points from the boot of Patrick Lambie giving new director of rugby Gary Gold his first win.

    The Lions made the stronger start in the driving rain and were rewarded with an early penalty when Coetzee was caught offside - the resulting penalty well-converted by Marnitz Boshoff, whose four goal kicks kept his side in the contest for most of the game.

    The Sharks, who appeared to be struggling more with the conditions, hit back by winning a scrum penalty in the eighth minute, which was slotted over by Lambie.

    It was 3-3 by the end of an error-strewn opening quarter, but things improved on the scoreboard thereafter, although Lambie did miss what looked an easier second kick on goal that fell well short after Jacques van Rooyen was penalised for an infringement.

    But the Sharks' flyhalf made amends for the miss by setting up the opening try with his pin-point cross-field kick met by the onrushing Ndungane, who took the ball in his stride and slid over on a weakly guarded right flank.

    Lambie missed with his conversion, but the Sharks would soon claim a second try after good initial work from Renaldo Bothma through the middle was followed by a clever dummy from Reinach, before he stretched over.

    A second Boshoff penalty when Bismarck du Plessis was penalised at the scrum helped the Lions cut the gap to nine points at the break when it was still raining.

    After the restart, they had a chance to further eat into that lead when Tera Mtembu erred during a maul, but Ruan Combrinck's kick from wide on the right struck the upright.

    However, Boshoff did reduce the gap with his kick from right in front of goal after an illegal challenge by Bothma.

    Lambie uncharacteristically blew a third kick on goal, this one for penalty scrum, before the hour mark, giving the Lions further belief, and they moved to within three of the Sharks when Boshoff landed his fourth penalty following a ruck infringement.

    But the Sharks punished them when they opted for a penalty line-out on 63 minutes, with the resulting drive leading to a Coetzee drive over - and Lambie finally hit the target for a vital conversion.

    The Lions did have a chance to come back, but Lionel Mapoe failed to release a key pass on attack and the subsequent danger was cleared.

    With four minutes to play the visitors lost captain Warren Whiteley to a yellow card and the Sharks made the most of their advantage with a driving maul for a bonus-point score courtesy of Coetzee to close out the win.

    The Sharks picked up a full-house of five points for their victory and moved to second in the SA Conference. They also jumped into fifth spot in the Overall standings.

    The Lions left empty-handed and remaining rock bottom of both the SA Conference and Overall log.

    In next weekend's Round 3 action, the Sharks travel to Loftus Versfeld to face the Bulls (Saturday, February 28 at 17:05), while the Lions welcome the Stormers to Emirates Airline Park (Saturday, February 28 at 19:10).



    15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu, 7. Renaldo Bothma, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Dale Chadwick

    Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Matt Stevens, 19. Marco Wentzel, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Fred Zeilinga, 23. Andre Esterhuizen


    15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9.  Ross Cronje, 8.  Warren Whiteley (captain), 7.Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Jacques van Rooyen

    Substitutes: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Julian Redelinghuys, 19. JP du Preez, 20. Ruaan Lerm, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Harold Vorster

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