Sharks hanging on at topof the log

2009-09-07 00:00

THE Sharks were back on top of the log after the weekend’s Currie Cup action, but only a points’ difference separate them from second-placed Western Province.

While the Sharks came away from Wellington on Friday with an emphatic 48-3 bonus point win over Boland, running in eight tries without reply, Western Province edged to a tough 25-19 victory over the Blue Bulls at Newlands, but took just four points from the game.

The Bulls managed to pick up a bonus point with the last kick of the day, but they are six log points off the pace.

They host the Sharks at Loftus on Saturday in what will be a critical game if they are to have a home semi-final.

The Bulls started strongly at Newlands but by the second half their scrum had folded under pressure and the Province pack, with All Black Chris Jack outstanding, set up the win.

Province fullback Joe Pietersen kicked 20 points while captain Luke Watson scored a pushover try from a five-metre scrum.

Talented Blue Bulls flyhalf Burton Francis kicked four penalties and converted their first-half try scored by centre Jaco Pretorius.

“It was a good game of rugby,” said Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke, though he must be concerned at the poor scrummaging of his team.

“In the second half, we couldn’t get the field position we needed, but it was still a great performance from our side as well.

“In the first half, we played in their half of the field and scored the points.”

Free State Cheetahs continued their excellent run and recorded their fifth consecutive victory in the competition by beating the Lions 20-16 in Bloemfontein.

WP Nel and Frans Viljoen were the only players to cross the tryline for Free State, who have put their nightmare start to the Currie Cup season behind them.

Derick Minnie was the Lions’ try-scorer. He added his name to the sheet, with his five-pointer being converted by flyhalf Herkie Kruger. Kruger also kicked three penalties.

At Olen Park in Potchefstroom, Griquas returned back to their winning ways and narrowly defeated the Leopards by 34-33 on Friday night.

The Kimberley team lie third on the log, but only a dropped pass with two minutes remaining denied the improving Leopards a win.

SATURDAY’S SCORERS

Western Province 25 Blue Bulls 19

Western Province - Try: Luke Watson; Conversion: Joe Pietersen; Penalties: Pietersen (6). Blue Bulls - Try: Jaco Pretorius; Conversion: Burton Francis; Penalties: Francis (4).

Free State Cheetahs 20 Lions 16

Free State – Tries: WP Nel, Frans Viljoen; Conversions: Jacques-Louis Potgieter (2); Penalties: Potgieter (2). Lions – Try: Derick Minnie; Conversion: Herkie Kruger; Penalties: Kruger (3).

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

Boland 3 Sharks 48

Leopards 33 Griquas 34

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