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Sharks made to work for victory over Lions

Tendai Mtawarira of the Sharks hands off Franco Mostert of the Lions

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Article Published: Saturday 12 April 2014|

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The Sharks went back to the top of the Super Rugby standings when they beat the Lions 12-25 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

The victory is the Sharks first away from their Durban home this season as they lost to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in their only other away match todate.

The Sharks play the Cheetahs and the Highlanders over the next two weeks and then in the 12th round they start their away tour with a match in Melbourne against the Rebels.

The Sharks went into the match as strong favourites but were unable to create any distance between them and the Lions on the scoreboard until the final quarter when Lwazi Mvovo scored the only try of the match and Frans Steyn kicked a series of long range penalties.

The coastal side took four points from the match to open a nine-point gap between them and the Bulls, their nearest South African rival on the log, while they have two points over the second-placed Brumbies, and a game in hand.

The Sharks will however be disappointed about the number of wasted opportunities as they had the Lions backs to the wall for most of the first half.

Instead, the sides went into the half-time break 6-all with their respective flyhalves succeeding with penalty kicks.

The Sharks opened the scoring when Fred Zeilinga kicked a fourth minute penalty and then a minute later he added a second

The Sharks then suffered a blow as Zeilinga left the field with what appeared to be a hamstring strain.

Sharks director of rugby Jake White will no doubt be worried about this injury in particular as he could potentially lose his second flyhalf of the season, following the earlier loss of Springbok pivot Pat Lambie.

When Zeilinga went off he was replaced by Heimar Williams who came on as substitute for the injured Zeilinga with centre Francois Steyn slotting in at flyhalf. Williams was a late replacement for Paul Jordaan who was supposed to be making his comeback from injury off the bench.

Shortly before the end of the first half the Lions were given some relief from the constant pressure when Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis was sin-binned for a shoulder charge on Lionel Mapoe.

Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff converted the resulting penalty which levelled the scores seven minutes before the end of the half.

The second half turned into a battle of the boot as Boshoff and Steyn exchanged penalty conversions as neither of the sides managed to break through the defensive lines.

Steyn put the Sharks into the lead eight minutes after the restart, with a three-pointer and added another in the 51st minute for a six-point lead.

The Lions came close to scoring but the TMO ruled that the ball was held up inside the goal area and instead Boshoff kicked a penalty in the 58th minute.

Steyn put the Sharks back into the lead by six-points four minutes later before Boshoff had another shot at goal in the 64th minute.

The tit-for-tat kicking battle came to an abrupt end when Sharks fullback Lwazi Mvovo produced a piece of individual brilliance with his try.

The fullback who normally plays on the wing received the ball from a turnover and chipped the ball just outside the 22 and collected the ball shortly before the line for his five-pointer.

Steyn failed with the conversion as the Sharks held a 12-22 lead with 14 minutes remaining and but he extended the lead with a penalty with eight minutes left.

The Lions made a valiant attempt at erasing the deficit, but the Sharks' defence held strong to keep them out and claim the victory.

Final Score Lions 12 (6) Sharks 25 (6)

Scorers

Lions
Tries -
Pen - M.Boshoff 2
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Sharks
Tries - L.Mvovo
Pen - F.Zeilinga 2, F.Steyn 4
Con - F.Steyn
Drop -
Cards - J.du Plessis (17th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee:
Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Marius Jonker

Teams

Lions

15. Andries Coetzee , 14. Deon van Rensburg , 13. Lionel Mapoe , 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Courtnall Skosan , 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Faf de Klerk , 8. Warren Whiteley (c), 7. Willie Britz , 6. Derick Minnie , 5. Franco Mostert , 4. Martin Muller, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Willie Wepener, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Replacements : 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Corne Fourie , 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. MB Lusaseni , 20. Jaco Kriel, 21. Ross Cronje, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Alwyn Hollenbach

Sharks

15. Lwazi Mvovo , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. S'bura Sithole , 12. Frans Steyn , 11. JP Pietersen , 10. Fred Zeilinga , 9. Charl McLeod , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Jean Deysel , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Willem Alberts , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis (Captain) , 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements , 16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Dale Chadwick , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Etienne Oosthuizen 20. Keegan Daniel , 21. Stefan Ungerer , 22. Heimaar Williams, 23. SP Marais

 
 
 
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