Planet Rugby

Sharks close in on SA leaders

26th May 2012 15:14

Share:

Fred Michalak scoring for the Sharks on his back

First-half try: Fred Michalak

The Sharks kept their play-off hopes very much alive after recording a 25-20 victory over conference rivals the Stormers at Kings Park on Saturday.

The men from Durban had built a decent 25-6 lead only moments after the break but were then made to sweat as the Capetonians launched a spirited fightback, sparked by Gio Aplon's brace.

However, South Africa's current third-ranked franchise managed to weather their visitors' late charge to claim a crucial win for their campaign.

Victory leaves the in-form Sharks five points off the Stormers and only three from the second-placed Bulls in their conference as Super Rugby nears its month-long break for the June internationals.

After a tense opening to the game, Peter Grant kicked the visitors in front in the ninth minute when Lwazi Mvovo was caught offside, with Patrick Lambie replying instantly after the Stormers were penalised at the ruck.

An error from tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis, who failed to roll away, allowed fly-half Grant another shot at goal that was sent over.

The Sharks scored the opening try in the seventeenth minute when Frederic Michalak's initial up-and-under caused problems in the visiting defence, with a quick tap-and-go penalty by Charl McLeod leading to the Frenchman collecting and dotting down courtesy of some good hand work on the line.

Lambie converted and added a penalty just before the half-hour mark to take the lead out to seven for the hosts, before that was stretched to fourteen four minutes before the break.

John Plumtree's men turned over a scrum in the build-up to their second try, before some quick ball was followed by skipper Keegan Daniel spotting a gap and making his way over.

The hosts continued to dominate after the restart with Mvovo crossing on the left for his seventh try of the season after taking a slick pass by Marcell Coetzee, although a tough conversion attempt was this time squandered by Lambie.

But the visitors scored their first try in the 53rd minute when Michalak's loose pass led to Aplon collecting and the Springbok back darted almost 70 metres to score.

The visitors got their reward with seven minutes to play when Aplon danced his way through a non-existent defence by running 35 metres untouched to score under the post. Grant converted the try, but the Sharks held on for a key victory in the South African conference.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Tries: Michalak, Daniel, Mvovo
Con: Lambie 2
Pen: Lambie 2

For Stormers:
Try: Aplon 2
Con: Grant 2
Pen: Grant 2

Sharks: 15 Patrick Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (capt), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Odwa Ndungane, 22 Louis Ludik.

Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (capt), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Don Armand, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Burton Francis.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
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
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre 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
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
More LV= Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720