Sharks blow golden chance to beat Hurricanes
Cape Town - The Sharks blew a golden chance to beat the Hurricanes when they conceded a 85th-minute converted try to go down in their Super Rugby clash in Napier on Friday.
As it happened: Hurricanes v Sharks
The Hurricanes won 38-37 after trailing 27-19 at half-time.
The Hurricanes, who were forced into an 11th-hour change when star flyhalf Beauden Barratt was forced to withdraw, appeared out of sorts and directionless for large parts of the match under the leadership of Barrett's replacement at pivot, Ihaia West, scored four tries through fullback Jodie Barrett and centres Ngani Laumape (2) and Vince Aso. West landed three conversions - including the match-winner - and four penalties.
The Sharks, who led by as many as nine points with less than three minutes to play, scored four tries of their own through centre Lukhanyo Am (2), scrumhalf Louis Schreuder and replacement lock Tyler Paul. Flyhalf Robert du Preez added all four conversions and three penalties for a personal haul of 17 points.
The Hurricanes picked up four points for their victory and extended their lead atop of the New Zealand Conference and moved to the summit of the Overall log as well.
The Sharks, who lost to the Brumbies (24-17) and the Rebels (46-14) before rebounding to beat the Blues (63-40) in their previous tour matches, picked up a single point for losing by seven points or fewer and moved to second in the South African Conference and sixth in the Overall standings.
In next weekend's Round 9 action, the Sharks host the Bulls in Durban (Saturday, April 14 at 17:15), while the Hurricanes welcome the Chiefs to Wellington (Friday, April 13 at 09:35 SA time).
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Ihaia West, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves
Substitutes: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Wes Goosen
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (captain), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Kobus van Wyk