Planet Rugby

Blues sunk in the Shark tank

08th March 2008 18:53

Share:

Keegan daniel try

Keegan Daniel: Free-scoring

The Blues' unbeaten start to the Super 14 came to an end in Durban on Saturday, with a brace of tries from Keegan Daniel helping the home side make it four from four with a 22-17 win.

The Sharks could not have got off to a better start in a match that was played at a frantic pace and with a frightening degree of physicality.

Daniel chased the kick-off, and caught the tap back from Bismarck du Plessis, before haring off down the pitch to score. Barely 20 seconds were on the clock. Rory Kockott's conversion bounced back off the upright, but the damage was done, both to the scorecard and to the Blues' morale.

So much for their 50 points-a-game record, the Blues were a shadow of their usual selves. Ball was spilled in the backs, supporters were not found with offloads, and players failed to find any gaps in resolute and numerous Sharks defence.

The Sharks had less ball, but were cleverer with it, and scored their second try after 20 minutes when Brad Barritt's grubber went beyond the final defender and into the grateful arms of Johann Muller. Rory Kockott converted this time to make it 12-0.

12-0 against the Blues was surprise enough, but Daniel was not done yet with his first-half heroics. A penalty in the Blues' 22 was taken quickly by the flanker, and he rushed over the line with a swarm of Blues defenders hanging off him.

Nick Evans reduced the arrears with a penalty moments before half time, but the Blues were a deserved second best at the break, 19-3 down.

Evans began the second half on a brighter note for the Blues, stepping his way through for a try under the posts, which he converted himself, and the visitors woke up. more possession came their way, more territory too, and far more cool decision-making from their key players. The Sharks still swarmed, but it remained to be seen how long the teams would hold out.

As the half wore on, the teams wilted. Tackles were easier to make, simply because the teams and players could not run with the necessary verve any more. Eventually, Troy Flavell, after a terrific break from Adi Jacobs, conceded a penalty, and Kockott slotted it to make it 22-10.

Again the Blues were stung into action, and back they came, with every man throwing every pound of flesh he could find at the home side. Eventually replacement scrum-half Taniela Moa found his way to the try-line, and Evans converted, leaving the Blues now only one score short at 22-17.

For the final seven minutes, the Blues ran at the Sharks in the energy-sapping humidity, but again the limbs began to tire and the defenders held strong. Freddie Michalak picked up a loose ball off the side of a ruck and was tackled into touch, sending the Absa Stadium into uproar as the final whistle blew.

Man of the match: It can only be Keegan Daniel, for a magnificent and energetic display in attack and defence.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:

Tries: Daniel 2, Muller

Cons: Kockott 2

Pen: Kockott

For the Blues:

Tries: Evans, Moa

Cons : Evans 2

Pen: Evans

The Sharks: 15 Francois Steyn, 14 Stefan Terblanche, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Bradley Barritt, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jacques Botes, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Johann Muller (c), 4 Albert van den Berg, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Jannie du Plessis

Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Charl Mcleod, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Odwa Ndungane

Blues: 15 Ben Atiga, 14 Anthony Tuitavake, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Lee, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Justin Collins, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Troy Flavell ,4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock,

Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Bryn Evans, 19 Onosa'i Tololima-Auva'a, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Rudi Wulf, 22 George Pisi.

Referee: Brett Bowden (Australia)

Touch judges: Julian Pritchard (Australia), Joey Salmans (South Africa)

Television match official: Johan Meuwesen (South Africa)

Assessor: Arrie Schoonwinkel (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615