Sharks slosh their way to victory

2012-09-17 00:00

THE Sharks, helped by two red cards to Western Province loose forwards, splish-splashed their way to a deserved 43-27 Currie Cup victory over Western Province at a sodden King’s Park on Saturday night.

Making light of the water-logged pitch, the Sharks scored four tries for a bonus point, while goalkicker Meyer Bosman, who has a success rate of over 90% in the Currie Cup competition, continued his excellent form in the atrocious conditions and landed nine of his 10 kicks.

Loose forwards Jebb Sinclair (after 52 minutes) and Tyrone Holmes (68 minutes) were both sent off by referee Lourens van der Merwe for punching, and Province were down to 12 men for the final four minutes when Wilhelm van der Sluys was yellow-carded for a late tackle.

Coach John Plumtree said the red cards had a major influence on the game, though the Sharks were comfortably ahead 22-12 when Sinclair was sent off.

“It was a niggly game and the red cards were unfortunate. But refs have zero tolerance for punching … you have the referee, his assistants and the TMO all watching and players can’t get away with punching.”

Province captain Deon Fourie offered no excuses for his players.

“Our discipline was poor and it is something we will have to work on,” he said.

Coach Allister Coetzee agreed.

“Our discipline was atrocious and not what we expect from WP players,” he said.

Province had the better of the first half in terms of possession and territory, but the Sharks, following an excellent try by Jacques Botes, led 16-12 at the break.

“Obviously tactical kicking was important,” said Plumtree. “The emphasis was on territory and I thought that tactically we were better in the second half.”

Centre Meyer Bosman, scrumhalf Cobus Reinach and flyhalf Riaan Viljoen played “huge roles”, but he was also delighted with the efforts of new wing Roski Specman and fullback Louis Ludik, who excelled under the high ball in the watery conditions.

The Sharks’ other tries went to Keegan Daniel, Botes and a penalty try in injury time as the five-man Province pack wilted. Province’s two tries went to replacement scrumhalf Louis Schreuder.

Griquas continued on their merry way in Kimberley, following their win over the Sharks a week earlier with a 49-34 bonus-point win against the struggling Blue Bulls.

The Bulls did fight back from a 20-0 half-time deficit, but ultimately, their dreadful defence in the opening quarter cost them.

Griquas coach Pote Human is now looking to secure a home semi-final.

“But we can only really bargain on that if we can continue the run of form we are currently in,” Human said. “We were very good against the Bulls. The important thing is not to lose our momentum.”

The Golden Lions kept their noses in front at the top of the log with another satisfying win, this time downing Free State 38-23 in Bloemfontein and picking up a bonus point on the way.

Free State led 16-13 shortly before the break and looked in good shape, but wing Ruan Combrinck took a short pass from Elton Jantjies to score for a 20-16 lead at the break. Wing Deon Helberg crossed after the break and the Lions were away.

“It’s a good effort from our side to achieve five points twice in two weeks,” Lions captain Janse van Rensburg said.

The Lions next face the Sharks, who are tied on top, in Johannesburg on Saturday (7.10 pm).

Saturday’s scores and scorers (home team first):

Sharks 43 (16) – Tries: Jacques Botes (2), Keegan Daniel, Penalty try. Conversions: Meyer Bosman (4). Penalties: Meyer Bosman (5). WP 27 (12) –Tries: Louis Schreuder (2). Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (5).

Griquas 49 (29) – Tries: Rocco Jansen, Walter Venter, Francois Brummer, Jean Stemmet, Justin Downey, Richard Lawson. Conversions: Brummer (2). Penalties: Brummer (4). Drop goals: Brummer. Blue Bulls 34 (14) – Tries: Rudy Paige, Willie Wepener, Akona Ndungane, Werner Kruger, CJ Stander. Conversions: Louis Fouche (3), Penalties: Fouche.

Free State 23 (16) – Tries: Marcel van der Merwe (2). Conversions: Nico Scheepers (2). Penalties: Scheepers (3). Golden Lions 38 (20) - Tries - Franco van der Merwe, Ruan Combrinck (2), Deon Helberg. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (3). Penalties: Jantjies (4).

Saturday’s fixtures:

WP vs Griquas, 3.00 pm

Blue Bulls vs Free State Cheetahs, 5.05 pm.

Golden Lions vs Sharks, 7:10 pm.

LOG:

P W D L PD BPts Pts

Lions 6 4 0 2 24 4 20

Sharks 6 4 0 2 18 4 20

WP 6 3 0 3 27 3 15

Griquas 6 3 0 3 -1 3 15

Cheetahs 6 2 0 4 -20 3 11

Bulls 6 2 0 4 -48 1 9

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