Bee swarm, late start and squall all to add a touch of the bizarre to Sharks’ narrow win

2010-10-18 00:00

THE punsters in the 40 000 crowd were at their irritating best at King’s Park on Saturday as a swarm of bees delayed the Currie Cup semi-final before the Sharks swarmed or buzzed — take your pick — to a 16-12 victory over the Blue Bulls.

The Sharks will now meet Western Province in the Currie Cup final at King’s Park on October 30. Province beat Free State 31-7 in the other semi-final in Cape Town, which also kicked off late because of the Durban interruption.

There was a touch of the bizarre to the Sharks’ win. The bee invasion delayed the start for over 40 minutes and a game that started in sunshine with the Sharks persistently on attack ended in heavy rain with John Plumtree’s team desperately, frantically and successfully defending their try-line.

The bees arrived for the kick-off at the same time as the players, swarming around the Sharks players as they lined up on the halfway line. After 15 minutes referee Marius Jonker ordered the players from the field and two smoke machines and a police smoke bomb were used in the attempt to shift the swarm.

Two small palm trees were also placed on the halfway line in an attempt to settle the bees.

Sharks coach John Plumtree said the delay was unsettling. “But we can’t really complain, can we? They were Natal bees, weren’t they?”

His captain, Stefan Terblanche, was more philosophical.

Hosting a Currie Cup final will be worth in excess of R6 million to the Sharks.

“It will be fantastic to be part of it all again. There will be a real buzz around Durban,” he added and no one could tell whether he had also joined the growing swell of punsters.

More Currie Cup news: pages 17 & 20

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