Sharks overpower Bordeaux to secure Round of 16 berth
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: The Sharks remained unbeaten in this season’s Champions Cup after a 32-3 win over Bordeaux in Durban on Saturday.
It was the Sharks’ third win in a row in the competition this season and they secured the bonus point with their five tries, which means they have 14 points in Pool A.
It also means they are in the Round of 16 with one more pool game still to play.
The Sharks were always going to rely heavily on their Boks and they certainly delivered with Jaden Hendrikse producing a strong performance.
The scrumhalf and Marnus Potgieter both scored two tries in the match.
Bordeaux endured a torrid day as they received four yellow cards and their only points came through a Maxime Lucu penalty.
The Sharks looked the stronger side from the outset and scored first through a Lionel Cronjé penalty on six minutes, with scrumhalf Lucu striking the upright with an effort of his own as Bordeaux sought an instant response.
The Sharks’ dominant scrum provided the platform for their opening try, as a penalty won against the head was taken quickly by Hendrikse, who squirmed over from close range.
Hendrikse dotted down for his second on 22 minutes after a powerful driving maul, before the Sharks’ scrum overpowered Bordeaux again and saw prop Christopher Vaotoa sent to the sin bin.
The Sharks immediately punished the visitors, as lock Grobler smashed his way over the whitewash on the half hour, with things going from bad to worse for the Top 14 outfit when hooker Clément Maynadier was yellow-carded for a cynical attempt to prevent the score.
Bordeaux weathered the storm with 13 men and ended the half with another penalty attempt from Lucu, but the captain was unable to hit the target from just shy of 50 metres.
Once back up to their full complement following the restart, Bordeaux looked to gain a foothold in the game, with Lucu notching their first points via a penalty on 43 minutes before slicing another effort wide.
However, the visitors suffered further setbacks before the hour, as flyhalf Mateo Garcia and replacement lock Cyril Cazeaux were sent to the sin bin, with wing Potgieter finally grabbing the bonus-point score after good work from flank Siya Kolisi.
Kolisi was involved again when the Sharks notched a fifth try moments later, teeing up Potgieter, who cruised over out wide for his second of the afternoon.
The contest fizzled out over the closing stages, with both sides making several handling errors as injuries and personnel changes interrupted proceedings.
In the final round of pool stage games next weekend, the Sharks travel to Harlequins, while Bordeaux host Gloucester, both on Saturday.
Man of the match: Sharks captain Siya Kolisi was everywhere on the field and he can be proud of his work rate. Eben Etzebeth produced another colossal performance with ball in hand and in the line-outs. However, the award goes to scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, who gave Bordeaux plenty of headaches. He scored two tries with some quick play and his decision-making from the base of the ruck was good.
Tries: Hendrikse 2, Grobler, Potgieter 2
Cons: Cronje 2
Yellow cards: Christopher Vaotoa (Bordeaux, 29′ – repeated infringements); Clement Maynadier (Bordeaux, 31′ – cynical play, slowing the ball down); Matéo Garcia (Bordeaux, 53′ – foul play, taking a player out in the air); Cyril Cazeaux (Bordeaux, 56′ – foul play, taking a player out in the air)
Sharks: 15 Henry Chamberlain, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Carlü Sadie, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Phendulani Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Aphelele Fassi, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg.
Bordeaux-Begles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Geoffrey Cros, 13 Tani Vili, 12 Yoram Falatea-Moefana, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Matéo Garcia, 9 Maxime Lucu (captain), 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Corentin Coularis, 6 Renato Giammarioli, 5 Alban Roussel, 4 Thomas Jolmes, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Christopher Vaotoa.
Replacements: 16 Connor Sa, 17 Ugo Boniface, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Cyril Cazeaux, 20 Bastien Vergnes-Taillefer, 21 Jules Gimbert, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Pablo Uberti.
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Christophe Ridley (England) & Jamie Leahy (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)
Additional source: @ChampionsCup