Sharks win at Newlands

Date published: October 11 2014

The Sharks fought back from being 20-8 down to beat Western Province 28-20 in an entertaining clash at Newlands on Saturday.

The Sharks fought back from being 20-8 down to beat Western Province 28-20 in an entertaining clash at Newlands on Saturday.

The Currie Cup semi-finals were already settled before kick-off in Cape Town following the Lions’ win over the Cheetahs earlier in the day. Western Province will host the Blue Bulls at Newlands next Saturday while the Sharks will travel to Jo’burg to face the Lions at Ellis Park.

S’bura Sithole scored in the first minute to give the Sharks the early advantage but WP led 20-11 at the interval thanks to tries from centre Pat Howard and fly-half Kurt Coleman.

But the Sharks came charging back, scoring 20 unanswered points with Lourens Adriaanse’s try on the hour mark wrestling the lead back after a series of penalties from Lionel Cronje.

Sithole couldn’t have given his side a better start when he cantered down the right touchline, having too much pace for Province to reel him in.

Coleman and Sharks number ten Lionel Cronje traded penalties in an open first quarter, summarised best by Howard’s try.

SP Marais had rushed up to make a crucial interception with Province seemingly through on the try line, but the hosts came right back as Howard swerved his way around the final few tacklers to put his team in front at 13-8.

Province at this stage were utterly dominant, dictating the territory and possession and finding space in the Sharks defence despite their set-piece struggling at times.

Sustained pressure ended with Coleman’s try in the left corner, which he converted superbly from the touchline to put Province well ahead.

Bizarrely that would be the home side’s final points in the contest on 26 minutes. Cronje added his second penalty just before the interval to leave the Sharks trailing by nine at 20-11.

Right from the start of the second half the Sharks dictated, feeding Cronje with multiple attempts at goal.

Three penalties in ten minutes, combined with a yellow card for Rhynardt Elstadt, helped the Sharks to level things up at 20-20.

Even a howling error from Tonderai Chavhanga couldn’t deny the Sharks when the experienced winger spilled the ball with an open try line in front of him.

Province’s creaking defence couldn’t hold out for much longer and it was from the Sharks strong maul that the points finally came to take the lead.

Replacement tighthead Lourens Adriaanse ducked and rolled his way over for the key score, with Cronje unable to land the conversion at 20-25.

Province couldn’t rediscover that fluidity from the first half that had served them so well, continuing to make errors and when the Sharks scrum dominated them once more Fred Zeilinga had the chance to kill the game.

He made no mistake, inflicting only a second loss in this year’s Currie Cup on the table leaders ahead of next week’s semi-finals, when admittedly the cavalry will return.

The scorers:

For Western Province:
Tries: Howard, Coleman
Cons: Coleman 2
Pens: Coleman 2
Yellow Card: Elstadt

For Sharks:
Tries: Sithole, Adriaanse
Pens: Cronje 5, Zeilinga

Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 EW Viljoen, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Devon Williams, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Rohan Kitshoff, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Brok Harris (captain), 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Gavin Annandale, 19 Anton van Zyl, 20 Patrick O’Brien, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Chevandre van Schoor.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (c), 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 JC Astle, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga.

Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Marc van Zyl