Sharks edge Jaguares, book playoff date with Crusaders
Cape Town - The Sharks progressed to the Super Rugby play-offs at the
expense of the Rebels as they saw off the Jaguares 20-10 at Kings Park on
They will now face the table-topping Crusaders in Christchurch
next week thanks to crossings from Akker van der Merwe and Kobus van Wyk.
The Jaguares, who travel to the Lions in their qualifier, scored
through Sebastian Cancelliere, with Joaquín Díaz Bonilla kicking five points.
Entertainment was lacking in the opening half in Durban as the wet
weather did not help the match as a spectacle. Throw in the Sharks only needing
four points and the Jaguares being largely second string and it had all the
ingredients of being a sluggish and fragmented contest.
The Sharks went 3-0 up on nine minutes when a huge scrum gave
Robert du Preez the chance to strike. He made it 6-0 seven minutes later.
But the hosts were reduced to 14 men on 19 minutes when number
eight Dan du Preez was yellow carded for a low, no-arm tackle. Diaz Bonilla
made no mistake from in front as the Jaguares cut the lead in half. There was
maybe a temptation that they should have chanced their arm.
And being conservative did come back to haunt them two minutes
later as Sharks hooker Van der Merwe raced over from close to 40 metres out
after popping out of a maul, showing good pace. Fly-half Du Preez added the
extras to make it 13-3 which was how it remained going into the interval, after
the Jaguares went agonisingly close to reducing the margin when Matias Moroni
grounded the ball dead after a chase through.
The Sharks came out for the second-half looking to apply the
squeeze and that they did but for no reward. After a series of shots at goal
being snubbed Du Preez's effort from out wide after a strong scrum struck the
upright. The hosts, however, did seem likely to strike soon.
That they did on 53 minutes when, from a lovely set-piece move
that started on halfway, Andre Esterhuizen put Van Wyk through and he raced
over on the right wing for a superb finish. This time Du Preez made no mistake
from the kicking tee as the Sharks held a 20-3 advantage.
The Jaguares did not roll over however and finally crossed on 66
minutes when a backline move on halfway led to the ball being kicked back
inside for the chasing Cancelliere to gather and ground. Diaz Bonilla added the
conversion to make it 20-10 and cause the Sharks to sweat.
They need not have worried though as 20-10 was how the game
finished as the Sharks now pack their packs and head to Christchurch next week,
consequently ending the Rebels' season.
Sharks 20 (13)
Tries: Akker van der Merwe, Kobus van Wyk
Conversions: Robert du Preez (2)
Penalties: Robert du Preez (2)
Jaguares 10 (3)
Try: Sebastian Cancelliere
Conversion: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla
Penalty: Diaz Bonilla