Late errors cost nervy Sharks side

2013-08-10 00:00

GRIQUAS pulled off a major upset as they punished the nervy, ragged Sharks, scoring a try after the final hooter to edge to a 32-30 Currie Cup win in front of stunned King’s Park crowd last night.

The Sharks appeared to have the game won when they led 30-25 after 77 minutes but a series of critical late errors, and a penalty at a final scrum, allowed Griquas to finish the game on attack and a series of pick-and-goes ended with replacement Carel Greeff scoring in the 82nd minute.

Wing Nico Scheepers, who kicked immaculately all night, converted from mid-way out to seal a rare Griquas’ victory in Durban.

It was just the sort of performance that the new Sharks coaching staff did not want or need after the controversial events of the past two months.

By the time the rattled Sharks had settled (after 14 minutes), they were already 13-0 down. There was a commendable fightback for the Sharks to lead 20-16 at the break but they then failed to exploit a number of excellent second-half attacking opportunities, seldom playing with any width, and this allowed Griquas to stay in touch throughout.

Backrower Jacques Botes, a late replacement for the injured Keegan Daniel as captain and No 8, scored two of the Sharks’ three tries and was later named man of the match. But he admitted the Sharks’ untidy set pieces had cost them.

“We battled there and it was also tough to fight back from 13-0 down. But we did get back into the game before slipping again at the end. All credit to Griquas. They played really well.”

Griquas captain Ryno Barnes praised his replacements for their late impact but singled out Springbok squad member and tighthead Lourens Adriaanse for special mention.

But, if the first quarter belonged to Griquas, the second was dominated by the Sharks and Botes, after a quick Charl McLeod tap and then off the back of an attacking scrum, scored tries. Butch James, who also landed all six of his kick at goal, on the night, converted both and kicked two penalties for the four-point half-time lead.

With rain falling in a second half, both teams played for territory. Wing Lwazi Mvovo rounded off a rare Sharks attack for what seemed a decisive try after 66 minutes (27-22) but Griquas timed their seven-point finish to perfection.

While the Sharks’ problems in the set pieces were obvious, they also failed tactically in attempting to take on Griquas where they were strongest — around the fringes — instead of testing their defences out wide.


Sharks 30 – Tries by Jacques Botes (2) and Lwazi Mvovo. Butch James three conversions and three penalties. Griquas 32 – Tries Marnus Schoeman and Carel Greeff. Nico Scheepers kicked six penalties and two conversions.

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