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    Top-of-the-table Sharks outmuscle Stormers

    2020-03-14 16:59

    A try by Rugby World Cup winner Makazole Mapimpi sealed a 24-14 Super Rugby victory for the table-topping Sharks over the Stormers in a South African Super Rugby derby in Durban on Saturday.

    As it happened | Sharks v Stormers

    His score one minute from time followed two penalties by flyhalf Curwin Bosch that turned a 14-13 deficit on 69 minutes into a 10-point triumph at Kings Park.

    It was the last match in the southern hemisphere competition to be played for the "foreseeable future" because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said.

    The Sanzaar announcement came just 80 minutes before the kick-off and many players were unaware that Super Rugby will be suspended after Round 7.

    "I am not surprised by the suspension given the spread of the virus and just hope the break is not too long," said Sharks skipper and centre Lukhanyo Am.

    "Our forwards won this match and the goal-kicking of Curwin contributed a lot to the victory."

    Stormers prop and captain Steven Kitshoff said the match was a "wonderful advertisement for South African rugby in front of a great crowd".

    "Both sides pitched up and we had a typical South African derby - very physical with possession fiercely contested.

    "The suspension is unfortunate but understandable because the good health of people has to come before sport. Let us hope the break is short."

    Stormers' disastrous start

    The Sharks went back to the top of the combined table with 24 points after a fifth consecutive win, one point above the Crusaders, the defending champions.

    The Stormers, the pacesetters for four rounds, slipped to seventh on 17 points, behind the Hurricanes on points difference.

    They made a disastrous start with flanker Johan du Toit yellow-carded after 12 seconds for a dangerous tackle on Sharks scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, who had to go off injured.

    Schreuder fell awkwardly on his back but referee AJ Jacobs overruled the television match official Willie Vos's advice to hand out a red card.

    But the hosts did not capitalise on their 10-minute numerical advantage and only scored well into the first half when fullback Aphelele Fassi went over for a try that Bosch converted.

    The Stormers responded almost immediately with scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies scoring a try that fullback Damian Willemse converted.

    A Bosch drop-goal in additional first-half time earned the Sharks a 10-7 half-time lead they deserved given their edge in the set-pieces and aggression at the breakdowns.

    Bosch widened the lead to six points with a penalty before the home crowd were silenced by a try from substitute scrumhalf Paul de Wet that Willemse converted to put the Stormers ahead.

    But with a surprise win looming for a visiting team lacking injured Springbok forwards Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Bongi Mbonambi, Bosch and Mapimpi struck decisive blows.

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    Scorers:

    Sharks

    Tries: Aphelele Fassi, Makazole Mapimpi
    Conversion: Curwin Bosch
    Penalties: Bosch (3)
    Drop goal: Bosch

    Stormers

    Tries: Herschel Jantjies, Paul de Wet
    Conversions: Damian Willemse (2)

    Teams:

    Sharks

    15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche

    Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Madosh Tambwe

    Stormers

    15 Damian Willemse, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain)

    Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Rikus Pretorius, 23 Sergeal Petersen

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 11 April 2020
    • Blues v Hurricanes, 06:45
    • Reds v Rebels, 11:15
    • Sharks v Waratahs, 15:05
    • Bulls v Lions, 17:15
    Sunday, 12 April 2020
    • Brumbies v Jaguares, 08:05
    Friday, 17 April 2020
    • Hurricanes v Highlanders, 09:05
    • Rebels v Crusaders, 11:15

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