Sharks stamp authority and climb back to the top
MATCH REPORT: The Sharks have reclaimed the number one spot on the Currie Cup after a ferocious tussle with the Lions in the Currie Cup in Durban on Saturday, claiming a 29-21 win.
The Lions desperately needed a win and the loss brings down the curtain on their Currie Cup campaign.
It was a humdinger of note with the Lions taking an early lead after two tries by Emmanuel Tshituka and Ruan Dreyer to take the lead in the first quarter of the game by 14-0.
The Sharks took their time to find their feet, having made to defend for dear life. They finally got their first points on the board in the 28th minute thanks to hooker Fezokuhle Mbatha after a tenacious fightback.
For the next 20 minutes it was all the men in black as tries by Aphele Fassi – who grabbed a great intercept of a pass by Lions captain Marius Louw – and Ntuthuko Mchunu followed.
The Lions lost their star flank Ruan Venter within the first 20 seconds of the game due to a dislocated shoulder sustained in a hard head-on tackle. But his replacement Emmanuel Tshituka put in a heroic performance during the game.
The Sharks’ lead was short lived when the lively Lions scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba finished off a great run by prop Rhynardt Runsburger to level the score at 21-21.
It was all even Stevens until the 72nd minute, when Mchunu scored his second of the night.
A penalty kick at goal by Nevaldo Fleurs stitched up the match for the home side.
The Tshituka brothers, both coming off the bench and playing against each other, had a great day at the office, defending, stealing and running all over the park. But it was the older Vincent who grabbed the Man of the Match award.
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— The Sharks (@SharksRugby) June 3, 2023
For the Sharks:
Tries: Mbatha, Fassi, Mchunu 2
Cons: Cronje 3
For the Lions:
Tries: Tshituka, Dreyer, Nohamba
Cons: Nohamba 3
Sharks: 15 Nevaldo Fleurs, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Murray Koster, 12 Alwayno Visagie, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Tiaan Fourie, 8 Henco Venter, 7 James Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Reniel Hugo (captain), 4 Ockie Barnard, 3 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 1 Dian Bleuler. 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Marco de Witt, 20 Vincent Tshituka, 21 Bradley Davids, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Marnus Potgieter.
Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Boldwin Hansen, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Ruan Venter, 6 Johannes Pretorius, 5 Darrien-Lane Landsberg, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Morné Brandon, 1 Rhynardt Runsburger.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Morgan Naudé, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Raynard Roets, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Rynhardt Jonker, 23 Andries Coetzee.
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Phumzile Mbewu
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen