Five-try Sharks blow Stormers away

Date published: June 13 2015

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The Sharks beat a second-string Stormers side 34-12 in a dire South African derby in Durban on Saturday to bring the Super Rugby regular season to a close. 

The result has zero impact on the overall standings and the Stormers will host the Brumbies in next weekend's qualifiers as the winners of the South African conference.

While the Sharks were able to give a handful of stalwarts a winning farewell – outscoring the Stormers four tries to none and recording their third-straight win in the process – an error-strewn affair at Kings Park was a very poor advertisement for skill levels in South Africa, with handling errors outnumbering clean breaks at a ratio of four to one. 

The Sharks led 13-9 at the interval thanks to tries from half-backs Lionel Cronje and Stefan Ungerer although both were beneficiaries of close calls by the TMO. 

The hosts had ruled both in terms of territory and possession in a scrappy first-half but the Stormers were still in touch at the break thanks to three penalties from Kurt Coleman. 

The Sharks moved clear in the second-half though as Bismarck du Plessis celebrated his final game in black with a try before Lwazi Mvovo secured the bonus point and Odwa Ndungane added a cherry to the cake.

It didn't start well for the Sharks, who watched Stormers fly-half Coleman open the scoring from an early breakdown penalty shortly before centre Andre Esterhuizen was rightly shown a yellow card for a tip tackle. 

The Stormers were unable to cash in on their numercial advantage during the sin-bin period and the hosts were dealt some good luck at the end of the first quarter when TMO Marius Jonker ruled that Lionel Cronje had touched down first on a loose ball after Ndungane had hacked ahead. 

It was a marginal call so it was perhaps fair that the game's first try brought the Sharks only five points instead of seven as Cronje's conversion effort sailed wide.

Coleman kicked the Stormers back in fornt with two more three pointers before Cronje replied with one of his own to leave the visitors up by a point with half-time looming large.

The Sharks would go into the break in front though after Ungerer was awarded a try after a snipe from close-range. The scrum-half had lost control in the act of scoring but managed to mantain contact with the ball so the try stood. Again Cronje was off target with the conversion but the home side had a four-point head start when the seocnd-half kicked off.

Coleman cut the gap again as he continued his perfect kicking display with his fourth penalty but the Sharks' third try was soon to follow.

Bismarck du Plessis set it up with a chip ahead and finished it off on the right wing after Renaldo Bothma and Ndungane had made strong runs. Cronje hit the target this time to make it 20-12. 

The Stormers scrum struggled all night and they were made to pay for conceding one against the head when Mvovo collected Cronje's grubber to race clear for try number four. Cronje's conversion stretched the lead to 15 points with as many minutes left to play.

Any hopes of the Stormers grabbing a consolation try were scuppered by a yellow card to full-back Robert du Preez for a dangerous tackle in the closing minutes. 

S'bura Sithole's offload down the right wing put Ndungane clear and the winger's pace did the rest as the Sharks celebrated a big win over their South African rivals.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Tries: Cronje, Ungerer, B du Plessis, Mvovo, Ndungane
Cons: Cronje 2, Zeilinga
Pen: Cronje
Yellow cards: Esterhuizen

For Stormers:
Pens: Coleman 4
Yellow cards: Du Preez

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 S'bura Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements:  16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Heimar Williams.

Stormers: 15 Robert du Preez, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr (c), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Oli Kebble. 
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Seabelo Senatla, 23 Kobus van Wyk.

Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Marius Jonker

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