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Du Preez brothers lead Sharks to victory over Rebels

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The Sharks beat the Melbourne Rebels 28-14 to get their Super Rugby campaign back on track at Kings Park, Durban.

The Du Preez brothers starred, scoring a try apiece and Robert kicking 11 points for a match-haul of 18, as the Rebels’ second-half woes continued.

The Sharks scored twice after halftime through Rob du Preez and Makazole Mapimpi to put the game away after a tight 50 minutes.

Mapimpi should have had two but for Marius Louw’s idiotic off-the-ball close line on Tom English late in the game.


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The Australian side was kept scoreless in the second half, running out of gas with about half an hour to play.

Dave Wessels’ side’s ill-discipline was costly, allowing the men in black to keep the scoreboard ticking.

The Aussies made 21 handling errors. Their ability to rack up double-digit penalties, which among other things, killed any chance of an away win in the Republic.

The Sharks took a slender two-point lead into the break despite being out-scored two tries to one by the Melbourne Rebels.

Daniel du Preez opened the scoring from close range but Quade Cooper’s deft passing, one long cut-out pass to Tom English and a little inside pop to Jack Maddocks, stunned the South Africans.

Video Highlights: Sharks versus Melbourne Rebels

But Robert du Preez’s three penalties kept his team ahead at the interval.

Wessels side conceded 20 penalties to one in last week’s defeat against the Lions, 11 this time, which is a coach killer.

They continued where they left off, coughing up nine in the first half to the two of the home team, although, they did cut the infractions out in the second stanza.

However, they could not add to their tally as the Sharks took control and ground them down.

Sharks strike first, but Rebels fight back

Dan du Preez powered over in the seventh minute before older brother Robert extended the Sharks’ lead to 10, soon afterwards.

The South Africans controlled the opening quarter with their big ball carriers and strong scrum, winning penalties in the tight.

The visitors, who were playing with an intensity and high tempo, looked to play fast.

Every penalty was a chance to launch a quick counter-attack, and they ran the ball from all over the park.

Poor handling that was proving costly. Billy Meakes dropped a sitter and stared at his hands and the turf as an attack died inside the opposition’s half.

Akker van der Merwe is a beast with the ball in hand, but his lineout throwing is inconsistent.

A wayward throw was followed by Luke Jones challenging and winning the following lineout, although the Rebels lost possession.

As was the case on the Highveld, Cooper was at his mercurial best, throwing an intercept and making plays.

The flyhalf, after Van der Merwe had given away a penalty, set up English with a beautiful long floated cut-out pass to halve the deficit.

Both teams started to kick in behind. They employed up-and-unders as well as grubbers behind each other’s back three in search of territorial advantage.

A nine-phase attack ended with Du Preez adding another penalty. Four minutes later, Maddocks, playing fullback, scored under the posts thanks to Cooper’s clever pass.

The standoff added the extras to put his side in front by a point, but the lead was soon wiped out for another infringement.

Du Preez called for the tee and, navigating a stiff breeze, proceeded to slot a 46-metre kick which is impressive on the east coast.

Penalties were mounting against the tourists. Richard Hardwick was caught offside, but this time Du Preez was off target.

Sharks pull away as Rebels lose their fight

Melbourne came out firing after the interval, putting together a series of attacks.

They battered the opposition with a 15 phase attack on the home team’s try line. Some superb defending kept them out.

Andre Esterhuizen held up an attacker in the maul, winning the turnover and allowing his team to clear their lines.

Aphelele Fassi was fortunate not to be yellow carded for taking a man out in the air while challenging for a high ball.

With the game on a knife-edge, one felt the next score could be crucial. You also wondered if the Rebels had enough in the tank to last the full game.

Quickfire double blow kills the game as a contest

As it turns out, they did not. On 52 minutes, the sharks went through the phases inside their opponent’s 22.

Coenie Oosthuizen went close. Then Dan du Preez almost got over but was pushed back. Quick ball was recycled, and Louis Schreuder sent wobbly floater to Rob Du Preez, standing alone on the whitewash to dot down.

All the momentum was with the Sharks, who initially withstood the Rebels’ siege before hitting them with a killer one-two punch.

It was more rope-a-dope than knockout blow, but it did for the visitors, none the less

With their tails up, the Sharks, playing with freedom pushed the Rebels backwards and were camped inside their 22.

The pressure told. Schreuder went blind from a central scrum, drew and passed to Rob du Preez.

He took the ball to the line before releasing Mapimpi. The flyer dived over in the corner for the Sharks’ third try.

The conversion was unsuccessful, but the deficit was two converted tries. Louw was sin-binned for his recklessness and Mapimpi’s stunning run, and the score was chalked off.

Meakes had a late chance, but that was all and as was the case in Johannesburg last weekend, the Rebels folded, and the Sharks eased to a comfortable victory.

Final Score: Sharks 28 (16) Rebels 14 (14)

Scorers

Sharks
Tries – D. Du Preez, R. Du Preez, Mapimpi
Pen – R. Du Preez (3)
Con – R. Du Preez (2)
Drop –
Cards – Louw (Yellow, 74′)

Rebels
Tries – English, Maddocks
Pen –
Con – Cooper (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 1: Divan Uys
Assistant Ref 2: Amy Barrat-Theron
TMO: Marius Jonker

Teams

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Phepsi Buthelezi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Curwin Bosch.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Reece Hodge, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Tom English, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Matt Gibbon.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Rob Leota, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Campbell Magnay, 23 Stuart Dunbar.

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