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
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00