Sharks break their URC duck
MATCH REPORT: The Sharks recorded their first win of the season with a victory over Ospreys on Friday in Swansea.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!
Steered by the No.10 Boeta Chamberlain, the Sharks bounced back from back-to-back defeats and produced a stunning second-half performance for the victory in Round three against Ospreys.
Chamberlain kept the scoreboard kicking with three incredible drop goals.
Jeremy Ward and Marnus Potgieter scored their tries to add to Chamberlain’s hat-trick of drop goals, with Ruan Pienaar adding two penalties and a conversion.
Gareth Anscombe kicked two penalties for the Ospreys to add to Gareth Thomas’ try, which Stephen Myler converted.
Alun Wyn Jones made his first appearance since returning from the British and Irish Lions tour, but Welsh international prop Tomas Francis was a late withdrawal with a stomach bug.
The Ospreys overcame this setback by taking an early lead thanks to an Anscombe penalty before the visitors suffered an injury blow when wing Thaakir Abrahams was helped off.
Pienaar missed a long-range penalty for the Sharks before Anscombe extended the hosts’ lead with a second straightforward kick.
The Sharks were regularly penalised in the opening quarter but they still matched their opponents during that period and deservedly picked up their first score when Chamberlain dropped a simple goal.
Six minutes later, Chamberlain fired over an impressive second, this time from 40 metres, to bring the scores level.
The flyhalf then replaced Pienaar as goal-kicker but sent his 45-metre kick well wide to leave the scores tied at 6-6 at the interval.
Within 90 seconds of the restart, the visitors took the lead for the first time. A well-judged kick ahead from Chamberlain was collected by lively lock Hyron Andrews, who provided the scoring pass for Ward.
They could soon have had another. First Anscombe’s clearance was charged down by Chamberlain, but the ball ran dead and then Anthony Volmink and Werner Kok combined cleverly down the left flank, which had the Ospreys scrambling to keep their line intact.
However the South Africans weren’t to be denied as Volmink sailed through the defence to provide Potgieter with an easy run-in before Chamberlain slammed over his third drop-goal and Pienaar kicked a penalty.
The Ospreys were easily second best for the third quarter and took the surprising move to take off their international half-backs, Anscombe and Rhys Webb, and were rewarded with a consolation try from Thomas, but the Sharks had the final say with a second penalty from Pienaar.
Player of the match
Chamberlain had a memorable match, completing a rare feat of three drop goals. In addition, he created a try for Ward and nearly had a try of his own when he charged down Anscombe’s kick.
Play of the match
The game was in the balance at 13-6 when skilful handling from the Sharks’ backs created space for Volmink to send Potgieter racing away for the crucial score, and the South Africans never looked back to get their season up and running.
Pens: Anscombe 2
Tries: Ward, Potgieter
Pens: Pienaar 2
Drop Goals: Chamberlain 3
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Mat Protheroe, 13 Tiaan Thomas Wheeler, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Rhys Webb (captain), 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Will Griffiths, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Rhys Davies, 20 Ethan Roots, 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Joe Hawkins.
Sharks: 15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Gerbrandt Grobler, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit (captain), 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Dylan Richardson, 22 Sanele Nohamba, 23 Werner Kok.
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Craig Evens (Wales) Carwyn Williams (Wales)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)
— United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) October 8, 2021