Planet Rugby

Sharks too hot for Blues

26th February 2011 14:05

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patrick lambie sharks v blues

Lambie: 21 points for the Sharks

The Sharks made it two from two in the 2011 Super Rugby tournament after beating the Blues 26-12 in Durban on Saturday.

The hosts continued to dominate what has been an overwhelming advantage in recent years with the number of consecutive wins now extended to seven over the Blues as they ran out deserved winners.

While there has been no shortage of talk of the tough conditions in Durban in February and how handling suffers in the heat and humidity, the two teams certainly had no plans to play conservative rugby and an entertaining game was to unfold with a ball-in-hand approach pretty much dominating the style employed by both sides.

A hush fell over Kings Park when the crowd paid their respects to the victims of the Christchurch earthquake that rocked the city earlier this week, but were cheering at the top of their lungs when Sharks' golden boy Patrick Lambie went over for the opening try of the match.

The Sharks started the match with a roar and a hiss, with the Blues on the backfoot from kick-off. With the Sharks hot on attack, a neat grubber and pick-up from Lambie ended with the pivot over besides the posts. The youngster added the conversion, and the hosts were 7-0 up with barely five minutes into the game.

Lambie was at it again with his first penalty that extended the Sharks' lead to ten points, but opposite number Stephen Brett narrowed the gap with two penalties of his own in the 11th and 16th minutes respectively that took the scores to 10-6.

Both sides threatened with sniping runs - Joe Rokocoko for the Blues and Lwazi Mvovo for the Sharks - but the next points came from the hosts after Lambie punished an Anthony Boric infringement in the line-out.

Brett cut the Sharks' seven-point lead yet again with another straight-forward penalty (13-9), before a Lambie attempt from half-way fell inches short of the cross-bar. However, he was back on target with his third successfull penalty of the evening ten minutes before half-time.

Brett made a mess of the last penalty kick on the stroke of half-time, that would have seen his team four points off the chase but instead the Blues headed into the break 16-9 down.

Lambie extended the Sharks lead to ten points (19-9) with a simple shot four minutes into the second half, but the hosts blew two try-scoring opportunities when Willem Alberts lost the ball over the line and then - Alberts again - went for glory and ignored a two-man overlap only to give away a penalty in the tackle.

From then on in it was all the Blues and the Sharks were forced to make the most of the tackles and did well to keep the visitors at bay. Replacement back Luke McAlister scored his side's first points of the half with a penalty kick in the 66th minute, that gave his side a sniff at an upset.

However, it proved not to be as the Sharks pulled out of site thanks to some good work from two of their own replacements - Jacques-Louis Potgieter intercepting, before putting JP Pietersen away for an easy run-in under the posts for the match-winner.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Tries: Lambie, Pietersen
Cons: Lambie 2
Pens: Lambie 4

For Blues:
Pens: Brett 3, McAlister

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Stefan Terblanche (c), 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Anton Bresler, 19 Jacques Botes/Lambert Groenewald, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22 JP Pietersen.

Blues: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Kurtis Haiu, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Sherwin Stowers.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)

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