Sharks put 50 past hapless Kings

Date published: September 17 2016

The Sharks kept the pressure on the Cheetahs at the top of the table after claiming an easy 53-0 win over the EP Kings in Durban on Saturday.

The match was played in atrocious weather conditions with torrential rain prominent throught but despite that the home side dominated for large periods and crossed for nine tries with their bonus-point try secured by the half-hour mark.

The result means the Sharks are now in joint second place with the Bulls in the standings although the men from Durban have a superior points difference.

The match also saw the return to action of Springbok fly-half Patrick Lambie, who got through the win unscathed after coming on at half-time. Lambie showed no signs of the concussion sustained against Ireland in June and contributed four points to the Sharks cause via a couple of conversions.

The Sharks controlled proceedings from the outset and scored their opening try as early as the fourth minute when Andre Esterhuizen dived over from close quarters.

With the hosts having the bulk of the possession for the next 10 minutes, they kept the ball mostly amongst the forwards and were duly rewarded with tries by their captain Chiliboy Ralepelle and Jean-Luc du Preez, from rolling mauls at line-outs inside the Kings' 22.

With the heavy downpour continuing as the half progressed, there were numerous handling errors from both sides although the Sharks soon celebrated when Inny Radebe went over in the left-hand corner after Curwin Bosch set him up with a superb line break in the build-up.

The next 10 minutes was an attritional affair as the rain made it difficult for the teams to play constructively and the Sharks went into the sheds at half-time holding a 24-0 lead.

The second half was similar to the first with the Sharks continuing to dominate although the rain subsided during this period.

Michael Claassens, Francois Kleinhan and Etienne Oosthuizen soon crossed for five-pointers from close range and when Wandile Mjekevu crossed the whitewash on the hour-mark, it was only a matter of time before the Sharks notched a half century of points.

The Kings didn't stop playing though and a combination of solid defence from the visitors and some handling errors kept the Sharks at bay but they were eventually rewarded when Khaya Majola crossed for their ninth try just before full-time.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Esterhuizen, Ralepelle, Du Preez, Radebe, Claassens, Kleinhans, Oosthuizen, Mjekevu, Majola
Cons: Bosch 2, Lambie 2

The Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Rhyno Smith, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Inny Radebe, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Francois Kleinhans, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (c), 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Neil Maritz

The EP Kings: 15 Lungelo Gosa, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Burton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Ricky Schroeder (c), 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Brandon Brown, 6 Vince Jobo, 5 Sebastian Ferreira, 4 Dylan Pieterse, 3 Justin Forwood, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Barend Portgieter
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Vukile Sofisa, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Luke van der Smit, 20 Vian van der Watt, 21 Minenhle Mthethwa, 22 Alcino Isaacs 

Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Referees: Stuart Berry, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Willie Vos