Planet Rugby

14-man Sharks shock the Crusaders

17th May 2014 10:22

Share:

KYLE COOPER WINNING TRY CRUSADERS V SHARKS SUPER RUGBY

Winning try: Kyle Cooper

The Sharks claimed an historic 30-25 victory over the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday despite playing most of the game with 14 men.

The match was marred by a moment of madness from Jean Deysel, who was sent off in the 15th minute after stomping on the head of the home side's flanker Jordan Taufua.

But despite their numerical disadvantage - and even with 13 men during the second half, after Willem Alberts was sent to the sin bin - the Sharks stuck to their guns manfully and stayed in touch with their hosts throughout the game before a try from Kyle Cooper in the 75th minute secured them a deserved victory.

The Sharks started brightly and were dominant during the early exchanges. Their efforts were rewarded with a try by S'bura Sithole in the ninth minute after brilliant play in the build-up from Frans Steyn.

After making a break from just inside his half, the Springbok cut infield and drew in three defenders inside the Crusaders' 22 before delivering a pass out of the back of his hand to Sithole who crashed over for the game's opening try.

Steyn converted but the hosts struck back with a try from Colin Slade after a costly mistake from the visitors just outside their 22. Cobus Reinach failed to gather a bomb from Willie Heinz and Sam Whitelock pounced on the loose ball. The big lock set off towards the try-line but, after being hauled in by the cover defence, offloaded to Slade who, after fending off Steyn, crossed the whitewash despite the attentions of two defenders.

He converted his own try and the game swung in the hosts' favour shortly afterwards when Deysel took the law into his own hands after Taufua held onto his leg after a tackle.

Slade slotted the resulting penalty and added another three-pointer on the half-hour mark after the Sharks were penalised for a scrum infringement.

Steyn narrowed the gap to three points with a three-pointer of his own shortly before half-time.

The Sharks scored first after the break with Reinach being rewarded after a pass from Heinz bounced off his knee on his 10-metre line. Reinach kicked the ball ahead and displayed some more football skills, inside the home side's 22, before diving over for a converted try.

Slade narrowed the gap to a point with a penalty five minutes later but Steyn restored the visitors' four-point lead with a three-pointer from the kicking tee in the 52nd minute.

The rest of the half was a war of attrition as both sides battled to gain the ascendancy. The Crusaders received a further shot in the arm when Alberts received his marching orders in the 64th minute for taking Wyatt Crockett out off the ball.

But, the home side failed to capitalise despite playing against 13 men. Their only points during Alberts' stint off the field came via two penalties from Slade, but the Sharks' replacement fly-half Tim Swiel also added a three-pointer during this period which kept the visitors in touch.

With the score at 25-23 to the Crusaders, the Sharks went in search of the win and got their break after taking the ball through several phases, inside the Crusaders' 22.

Cooper - who came on late in the game along with Dale Chadwick and Lourens Adriaanse as replacements for the Springbok front row of Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, and Beast Mtawarira - was the visitors' hero when he exploited a gap at a ruck, close to the Crusaders' try-line, and barged over from close quarters for what proved to be the match-winning try.

The victory means that the Sharks have now beaten the seven-time champions for the first time in Christchurch and they are also the first South African side to beat the Crusaders in New Zealand since 2001.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Slade
Cons: Slade
Pens: Slade 6

For Sharks:
Tries: Sithole, Reinach, Cooper
Cons: Steyn 2, Swiel
Pens: Steyn 2, Swiel
Red Card: Deysel
Yellow Card: Alberts

Cruasaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Ryan Crotty (c), 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Willie Heinz, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 George Whitelock, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Sharks:15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo ,10 Francois Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Tera Mtembu, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, (c) 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements:16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Heimar Williams

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821