Johannesburg - The Sharks scored seven tries as they racked up a half-century
of points to beat the Sunwolves 50-22 at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
The Sharks opened the scoring in the 3rd minute with a
penalty from flyhalf Robert Du Preez after the Sunwolves were guilty of
In the 10th minute, the Sharks had their first try. Taking
the ball through the phases, Robert du Preez switched the ball out left with a
long skip pass to Makazole Mapimpi on the overlap, who finished off a superb
team try. Du Preez added the extras for a 10-0 lead.
The Sunwolves were exerting a fair amount of pressure with
the Sharks showing excellent defence to keep them out. However, Harumichi
Tatekawa did slot a penalty in the 25th minute after a Sharks' tackler was
penalised for not rolling away.
But the hosts extended their lead on the half hour mark
through a magnificent individual effort from recent acquisition Akker van der
Merwe, who had been rewarded with his first start since moving from the Lions
and certainly appeared to be grabbing his opportunity with both hands.
From a pick and go, Van der Merwe bumped off a couple of
defenders before displaying good pace to show Kotaro Matsushima a clean pair of
heels who gave the prop the outside to dot down thinking he would pass to Sbu
Nkosi on his inside.
The Sharks grabbed their bonus point try five minutes before
the interval when Tera Mtembu crashed over following good interplay between Am
and Esterhuizen, after the latter had made the initial break as the Sharks took
a 24-3 lead in to the interval.
Five minutes after the break, the Sunwolves had their first
try of the game, just reward for the pressure they had exerted on the Sharks.
After a series of powerful carries from their forwards, the call came to go to
Scrumhalf Keisuke Uchida spread the ball out right to Kotaro
Matsushima who did excellently to get on the outside of the Sharks defence
before drawing the last defender and producing a classy one-handed offload out
the back of the hand for Lomano Lemeki to receive and dot down.
Soon after, the Sharks hit back. From a scrum, it was
Jacques Vermeulen with the ball out the back to Robert du Preez, who produced
another excellent long skip pass for Mapimpi, who skinned the last defender
expertly to run in for his brace.
Jacques Vermeulen got in on the act when he profited from
Cameron Wright's slick passing since coming on as a substitute to get on the
outside of his man and run through the under posts. Du Preez's conversion made
it 36-8 after 54 minutes.
The Sunwolves responded five minutes later through Wimpie
van der Walt, who showed good leg drive to power his way over from close range
with the aid of loose forward partner Willie Britz.
The next Sharks score came courtesy of enterprising play
from Curwin Bosch who saw there was no one at home, putting a kick in behind
the Sunwolves defence, with the ball bouncing for Nkosi to pick up and shrug
off the last defender before dotting down.
After the Sharks had knocked on, the Sunwolves had the feed
to a five-metre scrum on their try-line. The Sharks drove them back and
Sunwolves substitute scrumhalf Yutaka Nagare failed to control the bouncing
ball with opposite number Cameron Wright pouncing on the loose ball to dot
down. Du Preez's conversion made it a half century of points for the home side.
Excellent interplay between the Sunwolves backs saw Lemeki
making the break before feeding Tupou who cut inside to finish clinically as
the men from Tokyo went down 50-22 in the end.
Tries: Mapimpi 2, Van der Merwe, Mtembu, Vermeulen, Nkosi,
Conversions: Du Preez 5, Bosch
Penalties: Du Preez
Tries: Lemeki, Nagare, Tupou
Conversions: Matsushima, Nakamura
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Wian Vosloo, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (captain) 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo
15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 Sione Teaupa, 12 Michael Little, 11 William Topou, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Kazuki Himeno, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Craig Millar
Substitutes: 16 Atshushi Sakate, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Ryoto Nakamura, 23 Robbie Robinson