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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
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
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia 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
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys 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