Springboks returnees supercharge the Sharks to massive win over Dragons

Planet Rugby
Sharks star Grant Williams with ball in hand.

Sharks star Grant Williams with ball in hand.

It was a dream return for the Sharks’ Springbok superstars who powered the Durban side to a huge 69-14 win over the Dragons in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday.

There were six Rugby World Cup winners named in the matchday 23 and four of the heroes from the France tournament crossed for tries with the utterly rapid Grant Williams grabbing a brace off the bench.

Elsewhere, full-back Aphelele Fassi was outstanding with a brace of his own as the Sharks finally flexed their muscle with their first win of the season.

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Curwin Bosch kicked an early penalty before the first try came as a clean lineout win opened up the Dragons defence and Fassi slid over and quick hands from another Sharks break saw Makazole Mapimpi dive over in the corner for a second.

But the Dragons rallied and they found a hole in the Sharks’ back line before a pass inside saw scrum-half Dane Blacker coast in for a score under the posts.

Werner Kok then held onto a superb offload to stretch the Sharks’ lead and moments later their dominance told as a quick tap penalty helped Eben Etzebeth go over for the bonus-point score.

Another lineout win created space for the Sharks and, as the Dragons were cut wide open, Williams had the easiest of tasks to slide over.

But the Dragons would not lie down and back they came as Dyer collected the ball from the kick-off to go over in the corner.

That was as good as it got for the Welsh province as the relentless South Africans cut through their defences.

Phepsi Buthelezi powered over after yet more dominant play and soon after Williams scythed through the Dragons defence before flipping the ball up to Jeandre Labuschagne to coast over.

As the Dragons tired, the Sharks made hay as Williams, Fassi and Lukhanyo Am put the icing on the cake with three tries in five minutes.

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