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Sharks back on track as they sink Zebre

MATCH REPORT: The Sharks marched into the quarterfinals of the Challenge Cup with a resounding victory over Zebre Parma by 47-3 at Kingspark on Sunday.


It was a clinical and commanding performance by the Durbanites in gloomy and rainy conditions as they scored seven unanswered tries.

Zebre started fast, camping out in front of the Sharks’ tryline for the first five minutes before slotting a successful penalty kick.

The Sharks hit back immediately as Vincent Tshituka finished off a great move started by centre Ethan Hooker and a little reverse pass by flyhalf Siya Masuke sent the flank away.

The home side scored their second try on the stroke of 20 minutes with most of the players playing their role to get over the advantage line.

Makazole Mapimpi showed quick feet and almost got over but Werner Kok finished it off, stretching their lead to 14-3.

The tall Corne Rahl scored the Sharks’ third tray after Lukhanyo Am threw a great dummy and then there was no stopping the lock as he got over for the try.


Going into halftime the Sharks were well in control by 21-3 despite the challenging weather conditions.

Shortly after the second half commenced, the Sharks got the phases going on Zebre’s 5m line with a kick stabbed through the defense and Aphelele Fassi was the first to dot the ball down.

Phepsi Buthelezi also added his name to the scoring list as the Sharks forwards rumbled onwards. He broke loose and sneaked around the corner to get over.

The Sharks kept on hammering at Zebre’s defensive line and Hooker was rewarded for all his efforts in this game with a try in the corner, and the Durbanites stretched their lead to 40-3.


Curwin Bosch, a late replacement, showing his incredible turn of pace, cut through the defence showing clean heels to score the Sharks’ seventh try.

Coach John Plumtree’s charges were superior in the scrums with strongmen Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi and Vincent Koch all doing their bit.

This was a good performance by the Sharks as they continue to improve week after week.

Their next opponent is Edinburgh after their victory over Bayonne to get one step closer to the EPCR Challenge Cup final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 24.

Man of the Match: Siya Masuku for his handling of the game, his near-perfect kicking tally and his general managing of the game.


For Sharks
Tries: Tshituka, Kok, Rahl, Fassi, Hooker, Bosch
Cons: Masuku 5, Bosch

For Zebre:
Pens: Eden


Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Ethan Hooker, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Corne Rahl, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Gerbrandt Grobler, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Francois Venter

Zebre Parma: 15 Lorenzo Pani, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Franco Smith, 12 Damiano Mazza, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Alessandro Fusco, 8 Davide Ruggeri, 7 Josh Kaifa, 6 Guido Volpi, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 4 Dave Sisi (c), 3 Juan-Manuel Pitinari, 2 Giampietro Ribaldi, 1 Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Luca Rizzoli, 18 Ion Neculai, 19 Leonardo Krumov, 20 Giovanni Licata, 21 Thomas Dominguez, 22 Jacopo Trulla, 23 Bautista Stavile Bravin

Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe (England)
Assistant Referees: Tom Foley (England), Adam Leal (England)
TMO: Luke Pearce (England)

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