Sharks, Western Province turn on the charm in runaway second halves

2010-08-09 00:00

THE Sharks and Western Province turned on the second-half charm to run up convincing weekend victories and retain their positions at the top of the Currie Cup log.

The Sharks ran in five tries to one to down the Lions 48-10 at King’s Park, while unbeaten Province, sitting pretty at the top of the log, were even more emphatic winners, making light of the Kimberley challenge as they rushed in six second-half tries on their way to a 50-3 victory over hosts Griquas.

In the third Currie Cup match on Saturday, the Free State Cheetahs held off a late challenge from the Pumas to secure a comfortable 45-30 victory in Witbank.

The Sharks, behind a willing pack, overcame two loose forward setbacks to outplay the Lions.

The Sharks lost number eight Ryan Kankowski to a calf strain before the game and his replacement in the loose trio, the bustling Jean Deysel, lasted just five minutes before a knee ligament injury saw him stretchered from the field.

Still, the Sharks backrow of Willem Alberts, who moved to number eight, Keegan Daniel and Jacques Botes, excelled in a free-flowing, thoroughly entertaining contest in front of 22 000 spectators. With young Pat Lambie producing a balanced display in his first outing at flyhalf, the Sharks’ ball-in-hand approach brought rich reward in the second half as the Lions tired.

The Sharks dominated territory and possession in the first half, but the Lions’ desperate, brave defence held and the hosts could only lead 18-16 at the break after Lambie dummied his way over for the first try and Botes crossed after the Sharks had taken the ball through 16 phases.

The 19-year-old Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies kept the Lions in touch with three excellent penalties and the conversion of wing Deon van Rensburg’s try, gifted him by a wayward Stefan Terblanche grubber kick.

The Sharks’ pressure told early in the second half as first wing Lwazi Mvovo and then hooker Craig Burden intercepted passes deep in Lions’ territory for tries to settle the match as a contest. Mvovo rounded off an impressive Sharks sortie for his second try — the Sharks’ fifth — and, with Lambie succeeding with nine out of 10 kicks (five conversions and four penalties) for 28 points, the job had been emphatically done.

Western Province led 12-3 after a first half of penalty kicks against Griquas in Kimberley, but the log-leaders took total command in the second half as their slick backs and forwards combined for six tries. Outside centre, Springbok Juan de Jongh, was particularly impressive and was named man-of-the-match.

The Free Staters had their bonus point by half-time against the Pumas in Witbank and led 45-16 going into the final quarter. But the Pumas scored twice in the closing moments to narrow the defict to 45-30.

SCORERS:

Sharks (48): Tries: Patrick Lambie, Jacques Botes, Lwazi Mvovo (2), Craig Burden Conversions: Lambie (4). Penalties: Lambie (5).Lions (19): Tries: Deon van Rensburg. Conversion: Elton Jantjies Penalties: Jantjies (4).

Griquas (3): Penalty: Naas Olivier. Western Province (50): Tries: Juan de Jongh, Deon Fourie, Conrad Jantjes, Gio Aplon, Pieter Louw, Lionel Cronje. Conversions: De Waal (3), Cronje. Penalties: De Waal (4).

Pumas (30): Tries: Shaun Venter, Jacques Coetzee, Ashwin Scott. Conversions: Ricardo Croy, Elgar Watts (2). Penalties: Croy (3). Free State (45): Tries: Hendro Scholtz (2), Jongi Nokwe, Hennie Daniller, Robert Ebersohn, Meyer Bosman. Conversions: Louis Strydom (4), Sias Ebersohn (2). Penalty Strydom (4).

Played Friday:

At Pretoria: Blue Bulls (holders) 43 Leopards 38.

 

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