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Sharks

FULL-TIME
29     12

Lions

Super Rugby | Durban
17:10 (GMT) | 21-02-2015
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The Lions, from a scrum just outside the Sharks' 22, get a penalty. Mostert takes it quickly but the visitors can't do anything with it and are driven out into touch. FULL-TIME: Sharks 29 - 12 Lions
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Lambie gets the CONVERSION over and the Sharks lead 29 - 12
  • 77
The Sharks form another driving maul and Marcell Coetzee dives over for his second TRY!
  • 76
Marcell Coetzee breaks from the lineout but the sharks get a penalty and Warren Whiteley is YELLOW CARDED
  • 75
The Sharks form a maul from the line-out and make good progress towards the Lions 22, a cross-kick from Lambie is not taken by Coetzee and Murray kicks it forward and SP Marais is in front of him. Play is brought back for a penalty for a collapsed maul and Lambie goes for touch in the Lions 22
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The Sharks, from a scrum just inside their 10 metre line, wins a penalty and Lambie finds touch inside the Lions half
  • 71
The Lions take a short line-out in the Sharks half with Mostert and Tecklenburg taking the ball up. They are met with stern defence and are driven back towards the Sharks 10 metre line before a forward pass is sent to Combrinck
  • 69
From the scrum Marais send a kick down field. Lions win a penalty just outside their 22 Minnie take it quickly. Mapoe finds space but fails to give the pass to Mnisi in space in the Sharks 22. The Sharks win possession back after a cross kick
  • 67
Jantjies sends the ball dead from the restart and the Sharks have a scrum on halfway.
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Lambie gets the CONVERSION over and it is Sharks 22 - Lions 12
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The Sharks get a penalty at the scrum and Lambie finds touch just outside the Lions' 22. Sharks with an attacking line-out go to Lambie who sends a cross kick and the Sharks get a penalty five metres from the lions try-line after a Lions player not rolling away. They opt for the line-out and Marcell Coetzee is over for the TRY!from the driving maul
  • 61
The Lions have another attacking line-out on the Sharks 10 metre line after the Sharks kick it out on the full, but they cannot do anything with it as they lose it forward while trying to form a maul. Scrum to the Sharks
  • 58
The Lions form a maul before Mnisi crashes hit up in the Sharks 22. Mapoe is nearly through as the LIons make their way to the Sharks try-line. The Sharks turn it over, but illegally. Boshoff gets the PENALTY over and it is Sharks 15 - Lions 12
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Lambie sends a high ball and the Lions lose it forward before Lambie sends a cross kick in the Lions 22. Lions get a penalty now and Boshoff finds touch in the Sharks 22
  • 54
From the restart, the Sharks get the turnover and have a scrum on the Lions 22 after good work from Jannie du Plessis. They get the penalty after Schalk van der Merwe is penalised at the scrum. Lambie gets the penalty wide from an easy position
  • 51
The Lions now have an attacking line-out just outside the Sharks 22 after a mix up by Marais and Mtembu. the Lions take it through the phases as they look for an opening. The make their way into the Sharks 22. Combrinck can't hold onto a cross kick from Boshoff but play is brought back for a penalty. Boshoff gets the PENALTY over and it is now 15-9
  • 48
The Lions form a maul and take it up to the Sharks 10 metre line, but play is brought back for a Lions penalty after Tera Mtembu is guilty of lifting the man in the air. Ruan Combrinck steps up and hits the upright with his penalty kick
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Sharks gets free kick and Reinach takes it quickly. Lions get the turnover and Mnisi kicks down field. The Lions now have possession in the Sharks half before Cronje kicks it out on the full. The Lions steal the line-out and kick down filed before Marais fins touch on halfway
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The Sharks keep it close with the forwards before Reinach sends a high ball. Coetzee finds a half gap before Lambie and Boshoff exchange kicks. Boshoff kicks the ball on the full from a restart and Sharks get a scrum on the Lions' 22
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Lions' flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff gets the second half under way!

Half Time

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The Lions setup a maul before Cronje sends a high ball. Lambie returns a kick before Coetzee sends a big kick down field. Marais finds touch on the Sharks 10 metre line. Pieter-Steph du Toit steals the line-out and Reinach kicks the ball out for HALF-TIME
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The Sharks steal the line-out through Lubabalo Mtyanda, but they lose it forward and the Lions have a scrum on the Sharks 10 metre line. The Sharks get a tight head and Lambie sends a cross kick and Marais kicks and finds touch in the Lions' 22
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Lions get another penalty now five metres from their own try-line in a scrum and Boshoff finds touch on the Lions 10 metre line. The Lions decide to setup a maul before Cronje sends a high ball. Reinach kick out on the full. Line-out to Lions on the Sharks 10 metre line
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The Lions get a penalty now in the Sharks 22 and Boshoff steps up and gets the PENALTY over. it is 15- 6
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Lambie gets the COnVERSION over and it is 15-3
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From a strong scrum Reinach finds space and stretches over for the TRY!
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The Sharks form a driving maul in their own half, but the Lions get possession back from a box kick. The Lions lose possession and the Sharks are almost over for their second try but Bothma is held up. The Sharks will get a scrum five metres from the Lions' try-line
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Lambie gets the conversion wide and it is 8-3 to the Sharks
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The Sharks drive it up from the line-out before Lmabie sends a cross kick in the Lions 22. The Sharks get the ball back and Lambie sends another cross kick for Ndugane who gathers and scores the TRY!
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The Sharks knock it on from the line-out and the Lions will get the scrum five metres from their own try-line. Coetzee relives the pressure with a good kick and the Sharks will have a line-out on the Lions 22 metre line
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Lmabie picks the ball up from a messy line-out and the Sharks will get an attacking line-out inside the Lions 22 after a good kick from Reinach
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With a touch kick from an angle on the Lions 10 metre line, Lambie gets his kick short and Boshoff clears for touch just outside the Lions 22
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From the line-out the Sharks setup a maul and make their way past the Lions ten metre line and they win the penalty with Martin Muller trying to collapse the maul
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The Sharks win the penalty at scrum time and Lambie finds touch near the Sharks 10 metre line. The Sharks setup a maul and drive towards halfway before Lambie sends a high ball and Coetzee is tackled into touch just inside the Lions half
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The Lions from an attacking line-out just outside the Sharks 22 makes good progress with a strong run from Marx. They are met with strong defence from the Sharks but will get another chance from a line-out. the Lions knock it on and the Sharks will get a scrum deep in their 22
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The Sharks get the penalty and Lambie finds touch on the Lions 10 metre line. They lose the Line-out and Coetzee finds a good touch finder deep inside the Sharks 22
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The Lions and Sharks go through a kicking dual, before SP Marais kicks it out on the full. Lions have a line-out just inside their own half and they maul it up
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The Sharks get the penalty at the scrum and Lambie points to the posts, six metres inside the Lions half. He gets the PENALTY over and it is 3-3
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After a few scrum resets in the wet conditions the Lions get a free-kick and Boshoff sends a ball. The Sharks gather on halfway but the Lions win the turnover with good work from Tecklenberg
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The Sharks have possession in the Lions half and Lambie sends a high ball but Mvovo cannot hang on. The Lions will have the first scrum just outside their 22
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Boshoff gets the PENALTY over and the Lions lead the Sharks 3-0
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The Sharks from a line-out on their own 10 metre line sends a high ball through Reinach but the Lions get the penalty with Marcel Coetzee advancing in front of the kicker
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Sharks' flyhalf Patrick Lambie gets the game under way in wet and windy conditions!
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The last time the Lions beat the Sharks in Super Rugby was back in 2012.
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The field at Kings Park was water-logged earlier with heavy rain in Durban. However, conditions have improved and the game will go ahead after being in doubt.
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Welcome to live coverage of Super Rugby with the Sharks taking on the Lions in Durban
Mc sharks logo 80x50
Sharks
Mc lions logo 85
Lions
START LINE UP
  • 15 Garth April
  • 14 Jacobus Van Wyk
  • 13 Lukhanyo Am
  • 12 Marius Louw
  • 11 Odwa Ndungane
  • 10 Curwin Bosch
  • 9 Louis Schrueder
  • 8 Daniel du Preez
  • 7 Jean-Luc Du Preez
  • 6 Keegan Daniel
  • 5 Ruan Botha
  • 4 Tyler Paul
  • 3 Ross Geldenhuys
  • 2 Franco Marais
  • 1 Thomas Du Toit
RESERVES
  • 23 Rhyno Smith
  • 22 Tristan Blewett
  • 21 Michael Claassens
  • 20 Jacques Vermeulen
  • 19 Jean Droste
  • 18 John-Hubert Meyer
  • 17 Juan Schoeman
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
START LINE UP
  • 15 Andries Coetzee
  • 14 Ruan Combrinck
  • 13 Lionel Mapoe
  • 12 Harold Vorster
  • 11 Courtnall Skosan
  • 10 Elton Jantjies
  • 9 Ross Cronje
  • 8 Ruan Ackermann
  • 7 Albertus Smith
  • 6 Jaco Kriel
  • 5 Franco Mostert
  • 4 Andries Ferreira
  • 3 Ruan Dreyer
  • 2 Malcolm Marx
  • 1 Jacques van Rooyen
RESERVES
  • 23 Sylvian Mahuza
  • 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  • 21 Francois de Klerk
  • 20 Cyle Brink
  • 19 Lourens Erasmus
  • 18 Johannes Jonker
  • 17 Corne Fourie
  • 16 Armand van der Merwe
Mc article jp du preez lions

Preview: S15 Round Two, Part Two

Thu, 19 Feb 2015 22:51

It is going to be an interesting Saturday, because most of the teams in action will be chasing their first win of the season.

It is going to be an interesting Saturday, because most of the teams in action will be chasing their first win of the season.

Only two of last week's winners will be in action on the day -the Stormers, who host the Blues in Cape Town, and the Western Force, who travel to Brisbane to face the reds.

The Highlanders, who are at home to the Crusaders, had a bye in Round One. The Crusaders lost to the rebels.

The second match of the day is another derby, the Reds - massacred by the Brumbies - will look to bounce back against a Force team that beat the defending-champion Waratahs.

After that it is across theIndian Ocean to the Republic, where the Stormers will loom to repeat the impressive form that saw them beat the Bulls last week when they host a Blues team that narrowly lost to the Chiefs.

The final match will see the Sharks, upset by the Cheetahs last week, looking to bounce back against a Lions team that was just as disappointing in their loss to the Hurricanes.

We look at all Saturday's matches!

Saturday, February 21

Highlanders v Crusaders
(Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 06.35 GMT)

The Crusaders will be the 'desperate' team, given their loss to the Rebels last week.

However, the Highlanders will be the side under pressure - as they are coming of a first-week bye and may just be a touch undercooked.

Also, after making the play-offs last season for the first time in 12 years, the Highlanders are keen to not slip back into the pack of also-rans.

Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph is on high alert and with good reason.

The Crusaders never take kindly to a beating and his Dunedin-based franchise might be on the receiving end of that backlash.

"Yes, I am wary," he told NZ Newswire.

"Where are they weak? They're not. They just played well below their best last weekend.

"We know they will be better and we can't do anything about that. It's up to us to play well."

The other factor is the Week One bye, making an extended pre-season for his players.

"They just need to get out there and play now," he said.

"It's about putting in a performance on the track and hopefully getting a win."

Recent results:
2014: Crusaders won 34-8, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 32-30, Dunedin
2013: Crusaders won 40-12, Dunedin
2013: Crusaders won 24-8, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 51-18, Christchurch
2012: Highlanders won 27-24, Dunedin

Prediction: There is no Dan Carter, but with Israel Dagg back Colin Slade started at flyhalf. It gives the Crusaders a very different dynamic and while Slade is no slouch, there's a certain magic missing from the seven-time champions. The Highlanders' biggest problem could be that they are a touch underdone, as they come into the competition a week later than everybody else. We are convinced the Crusaders will bounce back and sneak a win by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Jason Emery, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (captain), 7 John Hardie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Marty Banks.

 
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Richie McCaw, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Tom Taylor, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.
 
Referee:
Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)

Reds v Western Force
(Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane -Kick-off: 19.40; 08.40 GMT)

Having signed two of the most high-profile players in the off-season - code-hopper Karmichael Hunt and unwanted Wallaby James O'Connor - expectations were high for the Reds.

They could not have flopped more spectacularly if they tried and there will be a steely determination to silence the detractors which have crawled out the woodworks in the last week.

Reds head coach Richard Graham said his side was looking forward to returning to Suncorp Stadium for the first time since July 2014.
 
"It is great to be back in Brisbane and playing in front of our own supporters at Suncorp Stadium," Graham said.

"Last weekend was a poor performance, the group recognise that and they are determined to deliver a strong performance on Saturday," he added.
 
"Our focus this week has been mainly around getting our set piece and defence right.

"The game usually flows on the back of controlling the collision zone and they start with those two areas."
 
Western Force coach Michael Foley is well aware there will be some kind of backlash and said his side is ready for another physical encounter against the Reds.

"Our goal is to maintain the same intensity and attitude, while we keep working on certain aspects of our game," he said of last week's win over the Waratahs.

"To that end, we've worked hard in preparation knowing the challenge posed by a determined Reds team."

Recent results:
2014: Force won 30-20, Perth
2014: Force won 32-29, Brisbane
2013: Reds and Force drew 11-all, Perth
2013: Force won 19-12, Brisbane
2012: Force won 45-19, Perth
2012: Reds won 35-20, Brisbane

Prediction: There has been a remarkable rise in the Force's form the last couple of years. The reds, in stark contrast, have been in a steady decline since their championship win in 2011. That suggest there could only be one winner, although in Super Rugby it is never that easy. Still, we have our money on the Force to win by 10 to 15 points.

Teams:
 

Reds: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Campbell Magnay, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Marco Kotze, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Tom Murday, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Sam Johnson, 23 Tom Banks.

 
Western Force: 15 Zack Holmes, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Solomoni Rasolea, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8  Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes (captain), 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Francois van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Mitchell Scott.
 
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Stormers v Blues
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 17.05; 5.05 GMT; 04.05 Sunday, February 22 NZDT)

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is never shy to use words like great and big, especially when describing the quality of the opposition.

It is, of course, the politically correct and polite thing to - be respectful to your rivals.

However, when he said the Blues will pose a "very different" challenge to the Bulls, he was not just throwing out the usual collection of media clichés.

"We play just once a year against a side like the Blues, where we play the Bulls three times in the Currie Cup alone,"Coetzee told a media briefing this week.

And that is the 'big' difference - they know the strategies and the players in the Bulls team, which they easily dispatched with last week.

The Blues, with a much-changed roster from when the two sides last met in 2013, will indeed present a completely different challenge.

However, they are not going to go into panic mode because they now face a team, in the Blues, that plays a much-more up-tempo game.

"For us it is not about the tempo the opposition brings," Coetzee said.

"You can only control the tempo once you are in possession of the ball," the Stormers mentor said, adding: "We will be much more comfortable playing at home, but we have to ensure our set pieces function like they functioned up there [Pretoria], then you an control the game."

He added that the key is to being accurate and clinical at scrum time and line-out time.

The Blues are not to be scoffed at, as they showed in running the Chiefs close last week.

"They have good runners, good steppers and forwards that can pass the ball as well," Coetzee said.

"They don't run directly at you, so we will have to defend from tight, close in, to wide as well.

"Yes, there are challenges, but, as I said, you can only control the tempo of the game if your source of possession is taken care of.

"That is the difference in playing against New Zealand team, hey have good broken-field players and steppers. If you don't look after the ball and you turn it over, then you defence is unstructured then you will miss a lot of tackles.

"If these guys have space and time on the ball they will punish you."

Recent results:
2013: Blues won 18-17, Albany
2012: Stormers won 27-17, Cape Town
2011: Stormers won 28-26, Auckland
2010: Stormers won 33-21, Auckland
2009: Blues won 14-8, Cape Town
2008: Blues won 17-14, Auckland

Prediction: This could be the match of the weekend. The Stormers have two advantages, albeit small - they are coming off a good win and will be confident, while they are also at home. They also have one of the best defensive systems in the competition. While the Blues will pose a major threat, you simply can't look past the Stormers for a likely winner - but by less than 10 points.

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
 
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Hamish Northcott, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Jerome Kaino (captain), 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements:  16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Lolagi Visinia.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Sharks v Lions
(Kings Park, Durban - Kick-off: 19.10; 17.10 GMT)

Games between these two sides are always intriguing and high-scoring affairs.

And with both coming off defeats last week, Saturday is sure to be as entertaining as any of their encounters the last five years.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann, speaking in the build-up to his team's trip to Durban, said patience was the key ingredient from their game last week - when they lost to the Hurricanes.

Having dominated possession (66 percent) and territory (more than 70 percent) the Lions are still smarting from the many errors that robbed them of the numerous opportunities they created.

"We need to show patience in that attacking zone," Ackermann said, adding: "If it takes us a few more phases to score then we have to be able to build that pressure.

"We are confident that the guys will be better than the week before and if they can keep that patience and that accuracy when we get those opportunities hopefully we can get the scoreboard going."

The Sharks were just as sloppy in their loss to the Cheetahs and while they will no doubt raise the bar, Director of Rugby Gary Gold said he was expecting another tough battle against the Lions.

"We are looking forward to a physical battle against a very good Lions team," the Sharks boss added.

"So we need to be more accurate, particularly in our own half.

"We made a lot of errors in execution, we didn't exit correctly out of our 22 which then put pressure on us and the Cheetahs were able to put points on us because of the mistakes we made. '

"We certainly didn't exit as well as we did against Toulon.

"We're looking for a big improvement this weekend, which we will do."

Recent results:
2014: Sharks won 25-12, Johannesburg
2014: Sharks won 37-23, Durban
2012: Lions won 38-28, Johannesburg
2012: Sharks won 32-20, Durban
2011: Sharks and Lions drew 30-all, Johannesburg
2011: Sharks won 27-3, Durban

Prediction: Patience is indeed the key word. You know the Lions will attack and do so for most of the match. The Sharks prefer a territory-based game, although they can give the ball air. The difference is they have more senior players that can calm their teammates down when it gets too hectic. That is why we feel the Sharks will win by about 10 points.

Teams:

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Andre Esterhuizen.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9  Ross Cronje, 8  Warren Whiteley (captain), 7  Warwick Tecklenburg, 6  Derick Minnie, 5  Franco Mostert, 4  Martin Muller, 3  Ruan Dreyer, 2  Malcolm Marx, 1  Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Harold Vorster.
 
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Compiled by Jan de Koning
@King365ed
@rugby365com

Mc article sharks v lions

Sharks beat Lions in KP splash

Sat, 21 Feb 2015 19:01

REPORT: The Sharks got their Super Rugby campaign back on track with an impressive 29-12 win over the Lions at a very wet Kings Park.

The Sharks got their Super Rugby campaign back on track with an impressive 29-12 win over the Lions at a very wet Kings Park stadium on Saturday.

The Round Two match was put in doubt by the monsoon-like downpour that hit Durban on Saturday.

However, as they did so famously at a World Cup semifinal in 1995, the stadium staff managed to get the pitch in playable condition in time for kick-off.

The Sharks' defence and set-piece work were the big differences - not that the conditions helped the Lions, who were not as effective playing the kicking game as the Sharks were.

However, as Lions captain Warren Whiteley admitted, the visitors were simply not good and the home side produced a quality performance - which is reflected in the scoreline.

The hosts were stunned by the Cheetahs on the same field seven days earlier, but did not make the same mistake twice despite the difficult conditions.

Odwa Ndungane and Cobus Reinach crossed for first-half scores, before flank Marcell Coetzee's double added to nine points from the boot of Patrick Lambie giving new Director of Rugby Gary Gold his first win.

The Lions made the stronger start in the driving rain and were rewarded with an early penalty when Coetzee was caught offside - the resulting penalty well-converted by Marnitz Boshoff, whose four goal kicks kept his side in the contest for most of the game.

The Sharks hit back by winning a scrum penalty in the eighth minute, which was slotted over by Lambie.

It was 3-all by the end of an error-strewn opening quarter, but things improved on the scoreboard thereafter, although Lambie did miss what looked an easier second kick on goal that fell well short after Jacques van Rooyen was penalised for an infringement.

But the Sharks' flyhalf made amends for the miss by setting up the opening try with his pin-point cross-field kick met by the onrushing Ndungane, who took the ball in his stride and slid over on a weakly guarded right flank.

Lambie missed with his conversion, but the Sharks would soon claim a second try after good initial work from Renaldo Bothma through the middle was followed by a clever dummy from Reinach, before he stretched over.

A second Boshoff penalty when Bismarck du Plessis was penalised at the scrum helped the Lions cut the gap to nine points at the break when it was still raining.

After the restart, they had a chance to further eat into that lead when Tera Mtembu erred during a maul, but Ruan Combrinck's kick from wide on the right struck the upright.

However, Boshoff did reduce the gap with his kick from right in front of goal after an illegal challenge by Bothma.

Lambie uncharacteristically blew a third kick on goal, this one for penalty scrum, before the hour mark, giving the Lions further belief, and they moved to within three of the Sharks when Boshoff landed his fourth penalty following a ruck infringement.

But the Sharks punished them when they opted for a penalty line-out on 63 minutes, with the resulting drive leading to a Coetzee drive over - and Lambie finally hit the target for a vital conversion.

The Lions did have a chance to come back, but Lionel Mapoe failed to release a key pass on attack and the subsequent danger was cleared.

With five minutes to play the visitors lost captain Warren Whiteley to a yellow card and the Sharks made the most of their advantage with a driving maul for a bonus-point score courtesy of Coetzee to close out the win.

Man of the match: Franco Mostert produced his usual bruising display, Derick Minnie and Warren Whiteley produced amazing workrates, Andries Coetzee was a rock under the constant bombardment of high balls, while Warwick Tecklenburg was the Lions' most productive forward. Jannie du Plessis and Bismarck du Plessis were instrumental in the early set-piece dominance, when the Lions had their second-string front row on the park and also looked solid - albeit not as dominant - against the first-choice front row in the second half. Renaldo Bothma did a lot of physical damage. Cobus Reinach may have made a few errors, but he was critical in keeping the ball in front of his forwards. Patrick Lambie was the conductor in an orchestra operating in testing conditions. And he wins our award.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:
Tries:
Ndungane, Reinach, Coetzee 2
Cons: Lambie 3
Pen: Lambie

For the Lions:
Pens:
Boshoff 4

Yellow card: Warren Whiteley (Sharks, 75 - repeated infringements at the breakdown)

Teams:

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Andre Esterhuizen.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9  Ross Cronje, 8  Warren Whiteley (captain), 7  Warwick Tecklenburg, 6  Derick Minnie, 5  Franco Mostert, 4  Martin Muller, 3  Ruan Dreyer, 2  Malcolm Marx, 1  Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Harold Vorster.
 
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Odwa Ndungane (26min)
TRIES
 
CONVERSIONS
 
PENALTIES
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Durban
REFEREE Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)