Sharks tame Cheetahs at Kings Park
CURRIE CUP REPORT: The Sharks moved level on points with the Cheetahs at the top of the Currie Cup standings after they beat Hawies Fourie’s side 35-23 in Durban on Friday.
The Sharks scored four tries at a soggy Kings Park to secure the bonus point.
Both sides now have 38 log points, but the Cheetahs have the superior points difference.
It was the Cheetahs who applied the early pressure but it didn’t show on the scoreboard.
Instead, it was the Sharks who opened the scoring in the seventh minute via a Lionel Cronje penalty.
With the Sharks getting more ball they were able to build more phases and they were rewarded in the 14th minute when Aphelele Fassi ran in for an easy try after some great passing.
Cronje added the extra two points with the conversion.
The Cheetahs suffered another blow in the 17th minute when Sibabalo Qoma received a yellow card for a high tackle.
The visitors finally got on the board in the 23rd minute with a Ruan Pienaar penalty.
However, the Sharks made life comfortable for themselves minutes late after some great skill by Yaw Penxe.
The wing evaded a few defenders down the touchline before kicking the ball ahead and it was centre Alwayno Visagie who raced away on his inside to dot the ball down for a try.
Cronje pushed his conversion wide but he made up for it with a successful penalty in the 34th minute to make it a 15-point lead.
The Cheetahs needed to be the next to score and they did when Qoma crashed over for a try after a tap penalty. Pienaar added the extras with the conversion.
However, the Sharks had the final say of the half when Cronje landed a penalty to make it 21-10 at the break.
The visitors opened the scoring in the second half with a Pienaar penalty.
The Cheetahs then suffered a setback when Sharks scrumhalf Tiaan Fourie found a way to the Cheetahs’ tryline after a scrum in the 22. Cronje was successful with the conversion to make it a 15-point lead.
Pienaar managed to reduce that lead to 12 points with another penalty in the 63rd minute.
The visitors were then reduced to 14 men again when Louis van der Westhuizen saw yellow in the 73rd minute for his team’s repeated infringements.
The Sharks took full advantage of their extra mine with Dameon Venter being driven over the tryline by a strong driving maul. Cronje added the extras with the conversion to make it a 19-point lead.
Daniel Maartens scored the Cheetahs’ second try before the end, but the margin was too big between the sides and the visitors had to leave Kings Park without any log points.
Man of the match: The award goes to Sharks flyhalf Lionel Cronje. He controlled play nicely in difficult conditions and he was a constant threat on attack.
Tries: Fassi, Visagie, Fourie, Venter
Cons: Cronje 3
Pens: Cronje 3
Tries: Qoma, Maartens
Cons: Pienaar, Masuku
Pens: Pienaar 3
Yellow cards: Sibabalo Qoma (Cheetahs, 17′ – foul play, high tackle); Louis van der Westhuizen (Cheetahs, 72′ – repeated infringements, side entry at the maul_
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 Jeandre Labuschagne, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Dameon Venter, 17Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Marco de Witt, 20 Sikhukbuzo Notshe, 21 Celimphilo Gumede, 22 Bradley Davids, 23 Marnus Potgieter
Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Cohen Jasper, 10 George Lourens, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 George Cronje, 7 Friedle Olivier, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Nqobisizwe Mxoli, 18 Dolph Botha, 19 Sibabalo Qoma, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 Siyabonga Masuku, 22 Rewan Kruger, 23 Evardi Boshoff
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Local
TMO: Christopher Allison
A bruising contest in Durban ends with @SharksRugby walking away with a bonus point win and second place on the log 👏#CurrieCup #WhereLegendsRise pic.twitter.com/DvsmsMDPiQ
— The Currie Cup (@TheCurrieCup) May 19, 2023