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Sharks battle their way to Blues victory

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Article Published: Saturday 26 February 2011






The Sharks won their second Super Rugby match of the 2011 season when they beat the Blues 26-12 in Durban on Saturday.

The scoreline does not reflect how close the match was as the Sharks scored a breakaway try in the final five minutes which cost the Blues a losing bonus point as they were on attack.

All 21 of the Sharks points against the Blues were scored by flyhalf Patrick Lambie.

The 20-year-old, who enjoyed his first taste of international rugby three months ago, ensured his team took an early lead when he dived over for the first try of the match in the fourth minute.

The rest of his points came through penalties and the conversion of a late try by wing JP Pietersen.

The value of Lambie's early try became more evident as the match progressed as both sides struggled to get to grips with the humid conditions.

That the victory was not as sloppy as their rain-drenched opening round win over the Cheetahs will be a seen as a positive for the Sharks, while they are – understandably -- not yet firing from all cylinders.

There were moments of individual brilliance during the first half, but the only other points came through Lambie and Blues flyhalf Stephen Brett who slotted three penalties each.

Down 9-16 at the break, the Blues tried their best to lift the tempo in the second half, but unforced handling errors prevented them from gaining momentum.

And when they managed to find space, they were kept out by the committed scrambling defence of the home side.

Defence turned out to be the key to the success of the Sharks against the men from Auckland.

The Sharks also impressed against a formidable pack at the set-pieces and were far more accurate at the breakdowns than their opponents.

Due to the start-stop nature of the match, it is no surprise that Pietersen's try came as a result of an intercept - as opposed to the traditional build-up phases.

Just as the Blues thought they were within reach when Luke McAllister slotted a penalty, Jacques-Louis Potgieter intercepted a stray pass to put the Springbok speedster in for the deciding try of the match.

The tussle to retain possession continued throughout the final quarter as the Blues tried their best to at least pick-up a bonus point.

But it was not to be as the Sharks kept their cool under a considerable amount of pressure.

Final Score Sharks 26 Blues 12

Scorers

Sharks
Tries -P Lambie, JP Pietersen
Pen - P. Lambie 4
Con - P Lambie 2
Drop -
Cards -

Blues
Tries -
Pen - S Brett 3, L McAlister
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 2:Reuben Rossouw
TMO:Johann Meuwesen

Teams

Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. Stefan Terblanche (C) , 12. Meyer Bosman , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Charl McLeod , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Keegan Daniel , 5. Alistair Hargreaves , 4. Steven Sykes , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16. John Smit , 17. Eugene van Staden , 18. Anton Bresler , 19. Jacques Botes / Lambert Groenewald , 20. Conrad Hoffmann , 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter

Blues: Isaia Toeava, Joe Rokocoko, Jared Payne, Benson Stanley, Rene Ranger, Stephen Brett, Alby Mathewson, Chris Lowrey, Daniel Braid, Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Anthony Boric, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (captain), Tony Woodcock.

Reserves: Tom McCartney, Charlie Faumuina, Kurtis Haiu, Luke Braid, Toby Morland, Luke McAlister, Sherwin Stowers.

 
 
 
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