Sharks thump Griquas to secure play-off place
CURRIE CUP REPORT: The Sharks thumped Griquas 47-19 in their Currie Cup Round Six match in Durban on Saturday.
With the five points and the Cheetahs going down at home to Western Province, the Sharks’ play-off place is now secure.
The Durbanites were in hot form in the first half, scoring four tries to one by Lager Griquas, which pushed them into an encouraging 26-7 half-time lead, and they added three more tries in the second half to guarantee the satisfying victory.
The men from Kimberley had the first say with Enver Brandt (wing) touching down 40 seconds into the match after tapping a loose ball from an ineffective long pass by the Sharks and gathering it to score.
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The hosts hit back minutes later with former Junior Springbok hooker Fezokuhle Mbatha touching down from a rolling maul, but the unsuccessful conversion attempt by Curwin Bosch (flyhalf) left them trailing 5=7.
The Sharks soon took control of the match thanks to their effectiveness at converting their chances into points and several minutes later they were three tries up.
First Werner Kok (right wing) snatched the ball out of the air from a well-timed cross-kick by Bosch after good forward pressure, and then Yaw Penxe (left wing) ploughed his way through some tough defence in the 33rd minute after gathering a loose ball from a chip kick.
Sharks captain Lukhanyo Am (centre) added their fourth try on the stroke of half-time as Bosch continued to show his class with the boot with a smart chip kick, which saw the KwaZulu-Natalians enter the break with an encouraging 26-7 lead.
The Sharks picked up where they left off shortly after play resumed with Sikhumbuzo Notshe (No.8) scoring their fifth try after changing direction on attack and dashing to the tryline.
Dylan Richardson (replacement flank) added their next five-pointer early in the fourth quarter from clever play from a lineout to extend their score to 40 points.
Griquas didn’t give up and struck back in the 67th minute with Gideon van der Merwe (flanker) navigating his way through a maul to dive over the chalk to take their score into double figures.
But this was cancelled out soon after by Sharks fullback Aphelele Fassi who intercepted a cross-kick by the visitors and cruised to the tryline, pushing their lead to 47-12 with a little over five minutes left to play.
Griquas again showed their fighting spirit with three minutes to go as Van der Merwe intercepted a line-out pass by the home side to slice through the defence for his second try, but it was too little too late as the Sharks’ seven tries saw them seal the rewarding 47-19 victory.
Tries: Mbatha, Kok, Penxe, Am, Notshe, Richardson, Fassi.
Cons: Bosch 6
Tries: Brandt, Van der Merwe 2
Cos: De Beer 2
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Henco Venter, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Fezokuhle Mbatha, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Hanru Jacobs, 19 Aston Fortuin, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Mannie Libbok, 23 Anthony Volmink.
Griquas: 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Eduan Keyter, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Zak Burger (captain), 8 Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Ewan Coetzee, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Replacements: 16 CJ Conradie, 17 Mox Mxoli, 18 Tijde Visser, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Siba Qoma, 21 Ashlon Davids, 22 Johnathan Francke, 23 Daniel Kasende.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron and Divan Uys
TMO: Marius Jonker
Additional source: SA Rugby