Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries to help the Sharks beat the Rebels 36-24 in Ballarat on Saturday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Sharks are back in business in more ways than one. After struggling to maintain their focus and intensity last week, Andre Esterhuizen’s charges delivered a rousing and largely accurate display.
Esterhuizen led by brutal example. The scrum held its own and the lineout fired to set a good platform. The rush defence was used as a weapon, and there was a passage of play at the end of the first half when the Sharks marched the Rebels some 40 metres back.
The visitors also produced some wonderful touches on attack. Some great passing and kicking into space eventually resulted in a try for Makazole Mapimpi. Esterhuizen, so abrasive in the early stages, showed that he can be elusive when he stepped past several defenders and scored thereafter.
The Sharks forced a turnover at the lineout at the end of the first half, and Thomas du Toit sprinted away toward the tryline. The ball was recycled quickly and Curwin Bosch threw a long pass to Madosh Tambwe. The successful finish and conversion had the Sharks going into the break with a 22-10 lead.
The complexion of the game changed after half time. Kerron van Vuuren was sent to the sin bin for his part in a tip-tackle on Marika Koroibete. Three minutes later, Tambwe was shown a yellow card after the visitors had conceded too many penalties in their own 22.
The Rebels capitalised when they scored through Isa Naisarani. Andrew Deegan’s conversion reduced the deficit to five points.
The Sharks managed to survive the rest of the period of sanction without conceding any more points. They started to build momentum as the game moved into the fourth quarter, and an enterprising passage of play culminated in another try for Mapimpi.
Esterhuizen forced a turnover on his own tryline and the Sharks opted to run down the left-hand touchline. Mapimpi crossed the line, but instead of dotting down to secure a hat-trick, he unselfishly gifted a try to Bosch.
Rebels – Tries: Marika Koroibete, Isi Naisarani, Anaru Rangi. Conversions: Andrew Deegan (3). Penalty: Deegan.
Sharks – Tries: Makazole Mapimpi (2), Andre Esterhuizen, Madosh Tambwe, Curwin Bosch. Conversions: Bosch (4). Penalty: Bosch.
Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (c), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Andrew Deegan, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Steven Misa, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Subs: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Tom English.
Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Andre Esterhuizen (c), 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Hence Venter, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.
Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images