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Sharks book Super Rugby final against Chiefs

JP Pietersen scored the Sharks second try

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Article Published: Saturday 28 July 2012|

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The Sharks sank their teeth into the Stormers and booked their place in the Super Rugby final against the Chiefs in Hamilton with a 19-26 victory at Newlands.

The Sharks made a mockery of the travel factor having flown to Brisbane last weekend by outclassing the Stormers who were playing at home after a bye.

Despite winning the South African Conference the Stormers have received criticism all season for their failure to score tries which has been a hallmark of successful Super Rugby sides and the Semi-final was no different as they were outscored again in tries.

Victory at home for the Stormers would have earned them a home Super Rugby final next weekend having finished on top of the Super Rugby standings at the end of the regular season.

The Sharks will now travel to Hamilton to face the Chiefs who beat the Sharks 12-18 in Durban earlier this season in the ninth round.

The Stormers started well in the tight exchanges, but at scrum time the Sharks had the upper hand.

The two flyhalves, Peter Grant (Stormers) and Frederic Michalak (Sharks) kept the scoreboard ticking over early on as the two sets of defences held their lines intact.

Grant was on target with a penalty and Michalak scored a penalty and a drop goal to give his side a 6-3 lead.

Just on the half-hour mark the Stormers came to light with several attacking moves sprung from around the halfway line but their most penetrative sortie was thwarted on the Sharks' tryline when fullback Joe Pietersen failed to ground the ball.

Most of the Sharks' territorial gains came via upfield kicks which were mostly well fielded by the Stormers, but they suffered a lapse just ahead of the half-time break and right wing Louis Ludik snapped up the bobbling ball before he ran in for the first try of the match. Michalak added the conversion to open up a 10-point lead.

The hosts looked for a strong first-half finish but their pressure merely gave them a penalty opportunity which Grant goaled a minute before half-time (6-13).

Both teams returned from the break with patches of promising play but with the Stormers looking the more likely to make a breakthrough. However, the occasion seemed to unnerve them and numerous errors crept into their game.

Grant and Michalak each struck with a penalty to retain the seven-point difference after 16 minutes of second-half play (9-16).

The Stormers suffered a huge setback just past the hour mark when the in-from JP Pietersen sliced through the Stormers' backline and ran in unchallenged from 20 metres out for the Sharks' second converted try.

With 20 minutes left the home side were faced with a challenge of scoring at least 14 points to save the match.

They wasted no time with a converted try by winger Gio Aplon three minutes later to reduce the margin to seven points.

They were briefly held up as they absorbed a short spell of pressure from the Sharks before they were back in the opposition's 22-metre area where Grant struck with a 73rd minute penalty (19-23).

Michalak, however, hammered the final nail in the Stormers' coffin with his second drop goal to restore what proved to be a match-winning seven-point scoreline difference.

Final Score Stormers 19 (6) Sharks 26 (13).

Scorers

Stormers
Tries - G. Aplon
Pen - P. Grant 4
Con - P. Grant
Drop -
Cards -

Sharks
Tries - L. Ludik, JP. Pietersen
Pen - F. Michalak 2
Con - F. Michalak 2
Drop - F. Michalak 2
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee:
Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2: Marius Jonker
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Teams

Stormers

15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (c), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Deon Fourie, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16. Frans Malherbe, 17. Deon Carstens, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Don Armand, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Gerhard van den Heever.

Sharks

1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Willem Alberts, 5. Anton Bresler, 6. Keegan Daniel (c), 7. Marcell Coetzee, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 9. Charl McLeod, 10. Frederic Michalak, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 12. Tim Whitehead, 13. JP Pietersen, 14. Louis Ludik, 15. Riaan Viljoen.

Replacements 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Steven Sykes, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Jacques Botes, 21. Odwa Ndungane, 22. Meyer Bosman.

 
 
 
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