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Stormers break Sharks hearts

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The Stormers beat the Sharks 27-16 at Newlands, Cape Town, ending their four-game losing streak and in doing so, putting the Durbanites out of playoff contention in the balance.

The victory also ended a four-game losing run against the men from KwaZulu-Natal, saving their best performance for when South African rugby did not need it.

Robert du Preez Snr’s side could not even get a crucial bonus-point to mathematically stay alive in this year’s tournament.

The Sharks needed to win today and beat the Jaguares – who lost to the Bulls in Pretoria – to have their own destiny in their hands for the playoffs.

The Durban side will need to beat the Argentines and hope the Rebels lose their final match, to qualify for the knockouts.

The Stormers controlled the first-half, taking a three-try 21-9 lead into the shed.

Tries from Cobus Wiese, EW Viljoen and Raymond Rhule cancelled out three Robert du Preez Jnr’s penalties.

Josh Stander, starting his first Super Rugby match for the Cape outfit, kicked three conversions and two penalties in a solid display at flyhalf.

The visitors had the better of the second stanza, but could not find the final pass, making 14 handling errors to the Stormers’ eight.

They could not get their driving maul going, and despite dominating the scrum set-piece, they were profligate when they needed to be clinical.

Jacobus van Wyk did score after the break to reduce the deficit to five, but two Stander penalties killed any hope of a Sharks comeback, and with it, their season.

Sharks had to win, but their bad start proved costly.

The Stormers, with a new halfback pairing, were up for this derby.

They kicked more than they have all season, pinging the opposition back in their own half, and from here, they were lethal.

Rob du Preez opened the scoring with an early penalty, but the hosts hit back immediately through Wiese.

Damian De Allende swerved his way past defenders before setting the lock free.

Du Preez kicked two more penalties in the opening quarter, taking advantage of some ill-discipline by the Stormers.

But another period of sustained pressure inside the Sharks 22 ended with EW Viljoen going over to put his side back in front.

Some brilliant work from Dillyn Leyds after Du Preez’s clearance-kick was charged down, extended Robbie Fleck’s team’s lead to 21-9.

The fullback, playing his 50th Super Rugby game, took advantage of some poor defending to set up Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who combined Rhule for the finish.

The visitors were fighting an uphill battle, chasing the game and making too many mistakes.

Sharks dominate second-half but fall short.

The visitors hit back soon after the break.

Rob du Preez threw a flat pass wide to Curwin Bosch, who drew his man and put replacement winger Van Wyk away for the early second-half score.

Du Preez’s conversion closed the gap to five, and the Sharks went hunting.

However, more handling errors and wayward passes halted any chance of breaking through the opposition’s defence.

They had the better of the territory and possession but were wasteful.

Even though their scrums were good, they fumbled and bumbled their way around the pitch.

Not even their driving maul could come into play.

The Stormers withstood the barrage.

On 65 minutes, Stander extended the lead to two scores, and the visitors started to chase.

Lwazi Mvovo had a try ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up.

Lukhanyo Am knocked on over the whitewash, but it would not have counted because of an earlier obstruction.

Time was running out, the Stormers knew it, taking their time to kick another penalty after spending some time on the Sharks’ goal-line.

In the end, it was too much.

Stormers versus Sharks video highlights.

Final score: Stormers 27 (21) Sharks 16 (9)

Scorers

Stormers
Tries – Wiese, Viljoen, Rhule
Pen – Stander (2)
Con – Stander (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Sharks
Tries – Van Wyk
Pen – R. du Preez (3)
Con – R. du Preez
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Stephan Geldenhuys
Assistant Ref 2: Archie Sehlako
TMO: Marius Jonker

Teams

Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 John Schickerling, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Johan du Toit 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Craig Barry.

Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Jacobus van Wyk.

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1 Comment

  1. John Jenkins

    7th July 2018 at 9:28 pm

    The Sharks can still overtake the Rebels and get 8th place on the overall table. The Sharks still could not catch the Jaguares with a bonus point and full house next week as they could only match the Jaguares 38 points. The Jaguares would still be above the Sharks as they have more wins, which counts ahead of point difference.

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