Planet Rugby

Sharks get the better of Leopards

08th October 2011 20:01

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Frederic Michalak sharks Currie C 2011

Frederic Michalak: contributed 11 points in the Sharks' win

The Sharks returned to the victory trail with a 41-14 win over the Leopards at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.

Depsite the huge winning margin, the Sharks did not have an easy outing and only late tries by Keegan Daniel and Sibusiso Sithole saw them pull away from their opponents

Prior to that the home side gave a good account of themselves and after trailing 15-0 at half-time, narrowed the gap to between six and eight points for most of the second half.

Earlier, the Durban-based side got off to a good start with a penalty after seven minutes by Frederic Michalak and when Springbok outside centre Adrian Jacobs scored the opening try of the match in the 14th minute, Sharks supporters must have though it would be another easy encounter against the Currie Cup's bottom-placed team.

The Sharks continued with their early dominance and were rewarded with their second try when Jacques Botes barged over the line from a driving maul at a lineout close to the Leopards' tryline in the 23rd minute.

This gave the visitors their 15 point lead at the break but the Leopards came back strongly in the second stanza and were rewarded with a try shortly after the re-start by Johann Laker.

The hosts' scrum-half sold Botes and Dale Chadwick a neat dummy before crashing over from close quarters.

Fly-half Wesley Dunlop converted, before the Sharks struck back with a touchdown from Springbok speedster Lwazi Mvovo.

The Leopards refused to give in and they were rewarded shorlty afterwards when Namibian international Danie Dames scored a fine individualistic try.

Dames received the ball just inside the Sharks' half and beat Michalak with a neat side-step before dotting down. This despite the efforts of a diving Sithole, who tried to stop him as he crossed the tryline.

After Dunlop added the extras, the score was 20-14 to the Sharks and the Leopards were highly motivated to cause an upset.

However, a try by Conrad Hoffmann halted their momentum and Daniel and Sithole's efforts in the closing stages put the result beyond doubt.

The win means that the Sharks are still in second position on the table with 43 points from 13 matches. The Lions are still the pacesetters and have 50 points after 13 matches.

The scorers:

For Leopards:
Tries: Laker, Dames
Cons: Dunlop 2

For Sharks:
Tries: Jacobs, Botes, Mvovo, Hoffmann, Daniel, Sithole
Cons: Michalak 4
Pens: Michalak

Leopards: 15 Hoffmann Maritz, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Charl Weideman, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Vainon Willis, 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Johann Laker, 8 Robert Kruger, 7 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6 Philip de Wet, 5 Brendon Snyman, 4 Brad Mockford, 3 Dewald Coetzee, Gavin Williamson, Jean-Jacques Rossouw.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Alfred Wauts, 18 Christo van Niekerk, 19 Juan Pretorius/Siya Mdaka, 20 Liam Slatem, 21 Clayton Durand, 22 Jovan Bowles.

Sharks: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Conrad Hoffmann, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Jean Deysel, 3 Eugene van Staden, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe 17 Wiehahn Herbst 18 Anton Bresler 19 Jan Andre Marais 20 Ross Cronje 21 Marius Joubert 22 Stefan Terblanche.

Referee: Joey Salmans

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