Frederic the Great

2011-07-23 00:00

THE Sharks, bruised mentally and physically, relied heavily on Frenchman Fredric Michalak for their battling 23-22 win over a willing Pumas outfit in the Currie Cup match in Nelsruit last night.

The Sharks were chasing the game for most of the evening and trailed 22-16 going into the closing five minutes. But a sustained attack ended with prop Dale Chadwick plunging over and Michalak, limping heavily, booted the Sharks into a one-point lead.

Both sides came close to scoring again in the chaotic final moments before referee Mark Larwence, waiting for the hooter, ended the Sharks’ torture minutes after the stadium clock had shown full-time.

The Sharks were given the bumpiest of rides by the Pumas. Their scrum, impressive against the Blue Bulls last Saturday, struggled on the night while crucial lineouts were lost. They were also given a torrid time by the Pumas at the breakdown and struggled to build any phases.

But it was Michalak’s night as the flyhalf skipped through for the Sharks’ first try and scored 18 points on the night.

The Pumas took the early lead when Tiaan Marx slotted a penalty in the sixth minute, but Michalak levelled the scores three minutes later and they continued to trade kicks for the first half-hour (9-9).

Michalak took the Sharks clear in the 32nd minute with a try and conversion, but Coenie van Wyk’s speed on the counter for a try — converted by Marx from the touchline — levelled the scores again (16-16). Sharks hooker Craig Burden was carded for repeated ruck infringements on half-time and Marx kicked the penalty for a 19-16 lead.

Marx stretched the lead to six points after the break but, with the final whistle looming, the Sharks, running a kickable penalty following a slicing Marius Joubert break, finally crashed through for the winning goal.

The Sharks, top of the log after the win, face the Free State Cheetahs in Durban next weekend and coach John Plumtree will be hoping that the injuries to Michalak and Joubert are not serious and that this great escape in Nelspruit will serve as a timely shake-up.


Pumas: Tries: Coenie van Wyk. Conversions: Tiaan Marx. Penalties: Marx (5).

Sharks: Tries: Frederic Michalak, Dale Chadwick. Conversions: Michalak (2). Penalties: Michalak (3).

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.