Planet Rugby

Sharks compound Blues woes

13th April 2012 07:51

Share:

keegan daniel blues v sharks

Sharks: Leave NZ on a high

The Blues slumped to their sixth defeat of the 2012 Super Rugby season after going down 29-23 to the Sharks at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

A terrible week for coach Pat Lam and his troops just got worse, while the Sharks leave New Zealand on a high thanks to their four-try bonus point win that puts them back in the play-offs hunt.

It was the eighth consecutive win for the South Africans over their Kiwi counterparts, who will no doubt face another barrage of criticism in the aftermath of another loss.

The Sharks raced out of the starting blocks first with a try to Steven Sykes, after the lock was on hand to take a pass from skipper Keegan Daniel who did all the hard work by intercepting a Blues pass and racing 50m to the tryline.

A try-saving tackle by Gareth Anscombe stopped Daniel just short, but the Blues pivot couldn't prevent the supporting Sykes from powering over.

Patrick Lambie couldn't add the extras, but was on target with a penalty attempt in the 15th minute to take his team into an 8-0 lead.

The Sharks struck again immediately from the restart after the Blues threw yet another intercept pass to hooker Craig Burden who didn't need a second invite to the tryline as the former wing turned on the gas for a converted score under the posts.

Fifteen points down, and the hosts were in trouble. However, after repeated surges on the Sharks line amounted to nothing, Anscombe took the three points on offer by referee Steve Walsh - who had another shocker with the whistle - to put the Blues on the board.

With half-time approaching, the Blues managed to win an illegal scrum against the feed and Tony Woodcock finished what he started with a try as the prop burrowed over for a crucial score converted by Anscombe.

The Blues pivot then made it a two-point ball game after calmly slotting over a drop-goal from bang in front to take the scores to 15-13 at the break.

The home side made the perfect start to the second half when centre Benson Stanley pounced on a sloppy pass from Sharks scrum-half Charl McLeod for his team's second try. Anscombe dually converted and the Blues were in front for the first time in the match (20-15).

Celebrations in the Eden Park stands didn't last long though as the Sharks hit back straight away with two quickfire tries through Daniel and centre Tim Whitehead - both converted by Lambie.

The first from Daniel saw the number eight dart past two defenders before crossing the line, and the second came after Lambie made a superb line break before linking with that man Daniel who offloaded to Whitehead.

Running at full tilt, the Sharks midfielder knocked the ball on to a Blues defender but managed to snatch back possession and cruise in for the bonus point try that the visitors were lucky to get away with.

With the Blues forced to play catch-up yet again, Anscombe sent over a 67th minute penalty to close the gap to six points which meant the hosts needed a converted try to win the game.

But the Sharks were up to the task, with some exceptional defence keeping the Blues at bay as the visitors hung on for victory.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries: Woodcock, Stanley
Cons: Anscombe 2
Pens: Anscombe 2
Drop: Anscombe

For Sharks:
Tries: Sykes, Burden, Daniel, Whitehead
Cons: Lambie 3
Pen: Lambie

Blues: 15 Rudi Wulf, 14 Hadleigh Parkes, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Michael Hobbs, 22 George Moala.

Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandré Marais, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Frederic Michalak.

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
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
Montpellier vs GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Preview
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
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
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Preview
Counties Manukau vs OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Preview
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
Friday , August 22
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
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
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas 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
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00