Sharks outclass Lions to go top

Sat, 08 Mar 2014 19:06
Large cobus reinach sharls v lion

The Sharks moved back to the top of the standings after a bonus-point 37-23 victory over the Lions in Durban on Saturday.

The Sharks moved back to the top of the standings after a bonus-point 37-23 victory over the Lions in Durban on Saturday.

It's not easy to play in Durban at this time of the year. The temperatures are high and the humidity uncomfortable, even at night.

The humiture, as the twin problems are sometimes called, is sapping and the wet makes handling slippery.

This may be the reason for the Sharks' dull pattern of play made up of one-pass phases, play without rhythm. But that and the best boot on the field was enough to win them five points and the top position on the log, a popular place to be with the home fans.

There were 28 158 spectators at Kings Park for this match. It was not a great match but winning beats losing every time and the bonus-point try at the death was satisfying.

In fact the Sharks scored two seven-pointers at the end of each half, which were the difference between the two sides at the end. They certainly did not have the Lions' enterprise and yet it was that enterprise that turned and bit the visitors, depriving them of a losers' bonus point.

Both sides suffered yellow cards for law infringements in defensive positions. But the Lions, down to seven forwards, still managed to win a tighthead in a scrum, but then tried to run for glory from deep in their 22, lost the slippery ball and conceded a five-metre line-out from which the Sharks scored.

The Lions were at their best when they settled on one flyhalf and that was Marnitz Boshoff.

Before that they had two occasional flyhalves, Boshoff and Elton Jantjies whose contribution to the match was little.

Jantjies was then taken off and Boshoff went to flyhalf. In a period of just five minutes the Lions scored two tries and got them to 30-23. But then the Sharks bit back.

The Sharks scored first when Warwick Tecklenburg lost the ball in a tackle by burly Willem Alberts and Ryan Kankowski gave to Frans Steyn who sent a skip pass to Lwazi Mvovo. Mvovo sped away from Ruan Combrinck and kicked ahead. The ball hit Boshoff and rebounded for Paul Jordaan who juggled, caught it and scored. 7-0 after 7 minutes.

Two penalties at tackles - against Bismarck du Plessis and Marcell Coetzee - made the score 7-6 after 15 minutes but Steyn, who had a perfect night's kicking then kicked three penalty goals, the third from three metres inside his own half when Combrinck was penalised for a late push on SP Marais. 16-6 after 33 minutes which became 16-9 when Jaco Reinach was penalised.

The Sharks threw into a line-out. They won a sloppy ball, which Reinach turned to gold. He managed to get hold of it and then beat Julian Redelinghuys, Jantjies and Chrysander Botha to score as Jaco Kriel tackled him. It was a splendid piece of individualism. 23-9, which was the half-time score.

In the second half the Lions had a five-metre lin-out but Kankowski won their throw.

Then the Lions were in their own half when Jantjies chipped. Alberts charged it down and Coetzee charged at the line. As he was being tackled by Botha he passed - a rare occurrence - to Odwa Ndungane who scored. 30-9 after 51 minutes.

The Lions had another five-metre line-out and this time Tecklenburg lost the ball forward.

Faf de Klerk kicked ahead and Marais fumbled. Botha footed on, and he and Steyn dived for the ball in in-goal. It was a hard decision for the TMO but eventually the decision was that Botha had knocked on in in-goal. That gave the Sharks a five-metre scrum but they were freekicked. The Lions tapped and charged at the line. Willie Britz was close but lost the ball.

The Sharks lost the penalty count in this match. Eventually it was 14-8 against them but at one stage it was 14-5 and the penalties fed the Lions.

A penalty gave them a third five-metre line-out. They threw deep to Warren Whiteley and mauled. Kankowski was sin-binned and De Klerk broke inside McLeod and scored.  30-16 after 63 minutes.

Another penalty gave the Lions another attacking line-out which they threw deep to Whiteley and mauled. They released the ball and Boshoff kicked a gentle grubber towards the Sharks' in-goal. The ball obligingly stood up and Deon van Rensburg grabbed it to score. 30-23 with 12 minutes to play.

A long penalty kick gave the Sharks an attacking line-out and then Corné Fourie was sinbinned for an infringement at a tackle close to his line. The Sharks kicked out for a five-metre line-out which Whiteley won for the Lions.

With under three minutes to go, the seven Lions won a tighthead at a scrum and ran out, but they lost the ball and Ross Cronje yielded a five-metre line-out in trying to save the position. That was the line-out that led to the try which Coetzee scored to give the Sharks a last-minute bonus point and deprive the Lions of a bonus point.'

Man of the Match: It is between Faf de Klerk of the Lions and Frans Steyn of the Sharks. Steyn and his booming boot were decisive factors in the match and so our Man of the Match is Francois Steyn.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:
Jordaan, Reinach, Ndungane, Coetzee
Cons: Steyn 4
Pens: Steyn 3

For the Lions:
De Klerk, Van Rensburg
Cons: Boshoff 2
Pens: Boshoff 3

Yellow cards: Ryan Kankowski (Sharks, 64 - repeated infringements at the maul), Corne Fourie (Lions, 75 - repeated infringement at the breakdown)


Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 S'bura Sithole.
Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 MB Lusaseni, 20 Willie Britz, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Jacobus Jonker, 23 Coenie van Wyk.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28