Durban Super Rugby franchise the Sharks have been cruising towards the Super Rugby playoffs and although they have not impressed week after week they have steadily progressed towards the last eight.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
2.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway in the South African conference after the international break.
4.00: The Bulls work their way into the Sharks’ 22 but after some promising play, Adriaan Strauss knocks on. The scrum is reset.
6.00: The Sharks’ scrum is 22kgs heavier than the Bulls, but the visitors get a decent shove. The Bulls win the ball back after the Sharks go wide and make their way inside the home team’s 22.
8.00: TRY Nic de Jager! Franco Marais can’t find his jumper, throwing over Stephan Lewies. The No 8 gathers and dives over for the game’s first try. Poor from the Sharks: 0-5
9.00: Miss! The conversion is not good, but the Bulls have the early lead: 0-5
11.00: The Bulls are playing quickly, taking quick throw-ins and running from deep, but yet again, they lose the ball forward, this time in the tackle, Jan Serfontein cannot control. Scrum to the home team on their 10 metres line.
13.00: Coenie Oosthuizen is penalised at the breakdown. The Bulls regather the ball afterwards and try run from deep inside their half. Thomas du Toit gathers Rudy Paige’s charged down kick and the loose ball is kicked forward, but the referee calls play back for a knock-on.
15.00: Tony Jantjies is down, holding his ribs after clearing the ball from his 22. He is back up soon afterwards. The Sharks are going through some tight phases, almost lose the ball, but come again.
17.00: TRY Thomas du Toit! The big man takes a short pass from Cobus Reinach, looks up, sees Rudolph Snyman and barges over the lock for the game equalising score. Good from the Sharks’ forwards there: 5-5
18.00: The conversion is good and the hosts lead: 7-5
20.00: TRY Warrick Galant! The fullback gathers after Garth April lost the ball on a counter attack. Tian Schoeman, on for Jantjies, picks up the bouncing ball, throws an outrageous no-look, behind the back pass to Jason Jenkins. The wing draws his man and sends Gelant away to score: 7-10
21.00: Tian Schoeman can’t miss from in front of the posts: 7-12
23.00: It’s end-to-end at Kings Park. The Sharks are awarded a penalty and will kick at goal.
24.00: PENALTY! Bosch reduces the deficit: 10-12
25.00: TRY Gelant at the double! It all came from Jan Serfontein’s break into the Sharks 22. The Bok centre saw the gap, sold a dummy on his outside, drew April, and sent the fullback away to score in the corner: 10-17
26.00: MISS! Tian Schoeman can’t add the extras: 10-17
28.00: The Bulls are finding gaps everywhere in the Sharks leaky defence, and almost score again. Somehow, the home team win the ball on their line and clear. Phew!
30:00 A short stop in play as the two sides set for another scrum. The Sharks go to the right and are awarded a penalty. Bosch kicks to the corner.
33.00: The Sharks go 10 phases, using their runners around the fringes well, but eventually, they blow their advantage with obstruction in the running lines. The Bulls clear and have a lineout on halfway.
34.00: Sibusiso Sithole is penalised for a dangerous tackle on Tian Schoeman around the halfway line. The standoff kicks deep and the Bulls go to their driving maul.
36.00: Jason Jenkins breaks into the Sharks’ 22 but loses the ball forward. Cobus Reinach clears the danger. However, the Sharks are at sixes and sevens; their first-time tackling is poor, letting the Bulls make headway with every attack. The visitors are offloading at every opportunity, and it’s causing havoc in the home team’s backline.
39.00: The Sharks win a penalty, after another siege. Bosch clears, but the Bulls come again.
40.00: The Bulls go wide with one last attack, making metres down the sideline. Tian Schoeman kicks in behind, but the ball is out. The have a scrum on halfway, attack the short side, but they lose the ball into touch.
The Bulls have made nine offloads to the Sharks’ three, while the home team has missed 12 tackles, lost a lineout and four turnovers. That will need to be rectified.
The half-time score was Sharks 10 Bulls 17
41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway in Durban for the second-half. Garth April restarts, kicking deep. Jesse Kriel gathers, takes the ball up into traffic, almost loses the ball, but the Bulls get a penalty.
42.00: Oh dear, Tian Schoeman attempts a banana kick, but it barely goes 20 metres.
44.00: The Bulls win the ball back after Cobus Reinach dithers on the ball near the breakdown. Ruan Steenkamp charges up the field, is tackled, but Reinach, this time, is offside at the ruck and the Bulls get the penalty. Tian Schoeman calls for the kicking tee.
45.00: PENALTY! Schoeman extends his side’s lead to 10 points: 10-20
45.00: YELLOW CARD! Sibusiso Nkosi is in the bin for ten minutes after taking Duncan Matthews out in the air.
47.00: The Bulls win a penalty after the Sharks collapse a scrum. Adriaan Strauss points to the polls.
48.00: Miss! Schoeman pulls his long-range kick wide: 10-20
50.00: The Bulls mount another wide attack, and win another penalty. The Sharks are all at sea in every department at the moment. The visitors handling has been good, sending short passes and finding holes. They kick to touch and set up a rolling maul.
52.00: After several phases of pulling their hosts all over the pitch, the ball is kicked out, over the dead-ball line – Sharks 22 drop-out.
53.00: A kicking duel ensues between the two teams’ back three.
54.00: TRY Curwin Bosch! The fullback collects Michael Claassens’ long skip-pass and dives in from five metres out and slides over to score. It all came from some quick ball at the breakdown, under the posts: 15-20
55.00: The conversion is good: 17-20
56.00: TRY Gelant! Hat-trick! Jan Serrfontein breaks through another hole and throws a wide pass to the fullback, on the wing, who grabs his third try of the evening. Wow! 17-25
57.00: Schoeman slots the wide conversion: 17-27
60.00: The game is entering the last quarter; the Sharks need to find some cohesion and stop giving away needless penalties if they are to stand a chance of a comeback.
63.00: The home team has a lineout, five metres from the Bulls’ goal-line. Some good work, using the ball well and getting over the gain-line, but they can’t find the final pass.
65.00: The Sharks are putting the Bulls under some heavy pressure, but the visitors are standing strong on defence. On every occasion that the team in black and white enter the opposition’s 22, they manage to lose possession or are penalised.
69.00: The Sharks – once again – lose the ball inside the Bulls’ 22; their handling has been really poor.
71.00: The Bulls win another penalty. They will take a shot at goal from distance.
72.00: PENALTY! Schoeman slots the difficult kick and that should be too much for the home team: 17-30
75.00: It’s the Bulls turn to keep the ball, and they rumble into the Sharks’ 22 through their forwards. The Pretoria men have been outstanding in every department tonight and their hosts have had no answer.
77.00: The clock is ticking down. The Sharks have a scrum on the halfway line. They go wide, but the move breaks down, however, they win another penalty and kick to touch, just outside the Bulls 22.
79.00: Another penalty goes the home team’s way.
80.00: The hooter sounds before April bangs the ball deep, but he does not find touch – and that’s the game.
The final score is Sharks 17 (10) Bulls 30 (17)
Tries – Du Toit, Bosch
Pen – Bosch
Con – Bosch (2)
Cards – Nkosi (Yellow, 45th minute)
Tries – De Jager, Gelant (3)
Pen – T. Schoeman (2)
Con – T. Schoeman (2)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: Quinton Immelman
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Marius Louw.
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Johnroy Jenkins, 19 Shaun Adendorff, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tian Schoeman