VIDEO: Sharks hammer Highlanders in Dunedin
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Sharks got their Australasian tour off to a fantastic start with a convincing 42-20 win over the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.
The team from Durban outscored their opponents by five tries to three with Makazole Mapimpi and Aphelele Fassi both scoring two tries.
RECAP: Highlanders v Sharks
It was a penalty-riddled first half with both teams getting blown for various infringements. The Sharks also found it hard in the first few scrums of the game.
The Highlanders opened the scoring in the seventh minute with three points from flyhalf Mitch Hunt after a scrum penalty deep inside the Sharks’ half.
Five minutes late the Sharks were level on the scoreboard when Curwin Bosch landed a 50-metre penalty goal.
The Sharks eventually went in front in the 25th minute after Bosch converted another penalty inside the Highlanders’ half.
The Highlanders’ weaknesses under the high ball was then exposed in the 31st minute when they failed to field a kick in the own half. The Sharks got the loose ball and it was fed to James Venter who sprinted in for the first try of the game.
Bosch was successful with the conversion to give his team a 10-point lead.
The Sharks went further in front in the 35th minute when the ball was spread wide in the Highlanders’ 22 with Mapimpi ending the play by running in for an easy try. Bosch added the extra two points with the conversion.
Things then went from bad to worse for the Highlanders in the 39th minute when the Sharks turned the ball over near halfway before some great interplay led to Mapimpi running in for his second try of the game.
Bosch added the two points once again and at half-time the Sharks were in a commanding position with the score reading 27-3.
The problems continued for the Highlanders at the start of the second half with Bosch adding another three points to his team’s tally with a penalty.
The Highlanders finally got a five-pointer in the 47th minute when loose forward Dillon Hunt weaved his way over the tryline after some pressure in the Sharks’ 22. Mitch Hunt was successful with the conversion.
After dominating play, the Highlanders brought themselves closer in the 61st minute when Jona Nareki collected a cross-field kick from Mitch Hunt to run in for a score.
However, the Highlanders’ optimism was short-lived when Fassi picked up a loose ball to race away for a try in the 73rd minute.
The home side hit back almost immediately with a try from Michael Collins before Fassi wrapped up the game when he gathered another loose ball to race away for his second try.
Man of the match: Loose forwards James Venter and Sikhumbuzo Notshe were outstanding in open play and they were big players on defence. Makazole Mapimpi showed off his finishing once again with two tries. However, the award goes to fullback Aphelele Fassi for his all-round play from the back. He also scored two tries as well.
Tries: D Hunt, Nareki, Collins
Con: M Hunt
Pen: M Hunt
Tries: J Venter, Mapimpi 2, Fassi 2
Cons: Bosch 4
Pens: Bosch 3
Highlanders: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Tima Fainga’anuku, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Josh Ioane, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 James Lentjes (captain), 6 Dillon Hunt, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Paripari Parkinson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Ayden Johnstone.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Michael Collins, 23 Teariki Ben-Nicholas.
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Henry Chamberlain, 23 Jeremy Ward
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, James Doleman
TMO: Chris Hart