Sharks stretch log lead

2010-08-28 00:00

GRIQUA wing and supreme opportunist Bjorn Basson ran in four tries, but could not prevent the Sharks running out 48-30 winners in their Currie Cup match at King’s Park last night.

With second-placed Western Province losing to Free State in Cape Town last night, the Sharks stretched their lead at the top of the Currie Cup log to a healthy seven points.

The Sharks mixed moments of sublime rugby with patches of untidy play and Basson was quick to punish them with all four of his team’s tries, three in the second half. Still, Sharks head coach John Plumtree was smiling at the final whistle.

“It was pretty entertaining, and good value for money,” he said. “We played some great football, but we did get a bit loose at times in our own half, particularly after we had wrapped up the bonus point.”

Plumtree said that too many 50:50 passes had been thrown “but you will get that from us with the type of rugby we are playing.”

He praised Griquas for their “outstanding” efforts.

“They were good on the counter, just as they were last week against the Bulls, and I thought Bjorn Basson was great tonight.”

Plumtree had wanted to use former Springbok flyhalf Andre Pretorius, who was on the bench, in the final quarter.

“But the game was starting to get a bit tight and I didn’t want to move Lambie away from flyhalf.

“I thought Lambie was again outstanding in just about everything he did, but he has to learn when to tighten up the game and not to try to play from everywhere.”

The Sharks appeared to be in for an easy evening as they ran up a 17-0 lead after the first quarter. Centre Terblanche, after a break by Lambie, and prop Beast Mtawarira following an impressive build-up, crossed for the early tries. Lambie converted both and added a penalty.

But Basson started his scoring spree after half-an-hour with his first try — after stealing the ball at the tackle — converted by Naas Olivier. Wing Odwa Ndungane responded almost immediately with a try for the Sharks before Lambie and Griqua fullback Riaan Viljoen, with a lengthy effort, traded penalties shortly before half-time (25-10).

Lambie, twice, and Olivier goaled penalties (31-13) before Basson again beat the Sharks defence to score after 54 minutes.

Sharks fullback Monty Dumond was on the end of a lengthy Sharks movement to earn the bonus point (38-20), but Griquas, and Basson, refused to lie down. The wing crossed for his third and fourth tries within the space of seven minutes (38-30) and the Sharks were briefly under threat. But they did have the last laugh with Lambie kicking a penalty and then reserve hooker Craig Burden was driven over on the final hooter (48-30).

Lambie had another excellent night with the boot, goaling five penalties and missing only one of his five conversions for 23 points.

The Sharks received a setback shortly before the game when lock Alistair Hargreaves withdrew with a groin injury and was replaced by Michael Rhodes.

Plumtree said his two senior locks, Hargeaves and Ross Skeate, should be fit for the Blue Bulls game at Loftus next weekend. Bok hooker Bismarck du Plessis rolled an ankle but Plumtree said it is not serious.

SCORERS

Sharks: Tries: Stefan Terblanche, Tendai Mtawarira, Odwa Ndungane, Monty Dumond, Craig Burden. Conversions: Pat Lambie (4) Penalties: Pat Lambie (5)

Griquas: Tries: Bjorn Basson (4) Conversions: Naas Olivier (2). Penalties: Riaan Viljoen, Naas Olivier.

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