The Sharks scored four unanswered second-half tries to register a 29-0 win against the Pumas at Kings Park on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
This was a low-quality Currie Cup contest in which the Sharks – despite fielding a full-strength lineup – failed to make a statement of intent.
The first half was particularly disjointed and dull with both sides guilty of making costly errors. The Sharks improved in the second half, but the game continued to have underwhelming feel to it.
Curwin Bosch opened the scoring with a sixth-minute penalty after the Sharks had achieved early scrum dominance.
Despite being second best at the set piece and in terms of territory and possession, the Pumas did well to curb the Sharks’ attack to head into the break trailing by just three points.
The visitors weren’t short of scoring opportunities either, but poor execution was their downfall. On the stroke of half-time, the Pumas turned down what would have been a regulation penalty kick in front of goal and instead opted to attempt to score a try. But another handling error stifled their momentum and the Sharks survived.
The second half belonged solely to the Sharks, with their backline seizing control of the contest with brilliant attack, running rugby.
Centre Lukhanyo Am dived over in the left corner for the first try soon after the restart and three minutes later a searing break by fullback Garth April set up S’busiso Nkosi for the second. Bosch converted on both occasions for a 17-point lead.
There was a lull in the game, but by then it was already out of reach for the Pumas and late tries by Kobus van Wyk and Jeremy Ward secured the bonus point for the Sharks.
Sharks – Tries: Lukhanyo Am, S’busiso Nkosi, Kobus van Wyk, Jeremy Ward. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3). Penalty: Bosch.
Sharks – 15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 , 11 S’busiso Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (c), 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Tyler Paul, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Inny Radebe.
Pumas – 15 Gerrit Smith, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (c), 11 JP Lewis, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jeremy Jordaan, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Kwezi Mona.
Subs: 16 Frank Herne, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Devon Williams.
Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix