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Bosch wins kicking duel as Sharks beat Lions in Durban

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The Sharks edged the Lions 19-16 in a tight contest to open Super Rugby Unlocked with a victory at Kings Park, Durban.

Elton Jantjies hit the woodwork with a late penalty attempt and turned down a chance to level the scores with another penalty in added time, opting for a scrum, instead of taking the three and a share of the spoils.

His gamble did not pay off. The Sharks pack won a match-clinching penalty on their own five-metre line and continue where they left off in March before Covid-19 halted Super Rugby.

Werner Kok scored on debut for the Sharks and Jamba Ulengo replied with a second-half try of his own in what turned out to be an arm wrestle between the two teams.

Curwin Bosch and Jantjies had indifferent days from the tee, with the Sharks playmaker edging the battle with one miss to his opposite number’s two – one of which proved the difference.

Bosch landed four penalties and a conversion for 14 points, while Jantjies collected 11 points from three penalty goals and a conversion.

A missed penalty by the Lions flyhalf, that rebounded off the post, with less than three minutes remaining must have had a role in his decision to take the scrum instead of kicking at goal.

The Sharks started fast, opening the scoring with a well-worked try in the fifth minute.

Dylan Richardson overthrew his jumper, and the Lions cleared. A kicking battle ensued, the Sharks won possession for the third time before sending the ball wide through the hands to Kok to score.

Pepsi Buthelezi handed off a defender, popped Lukhanyo Am, who drew the last defender, sending Kok away down the touchline.

Bosch converted before adding two penalties to open up a 13-0 lead on the half-hour.

Sean Everitt’s side dominated territory and possession, but the Lions pack caused the home team problems at both lineout and scrums.

Jantjies got the visitors on the board with a penalty, three minutes later.

It was an unusual tactic for the Johannesburg franchise, who have eschewed penalties for kicking to the corner over the last few years.

Super Rugby Unlocked Video Highlights: Sharks versus Lions at Kings Park, Durban

The visitors, slowly, grew into the game, although, they could not convert a couple of good attacking opportunities at the end of the half.

Despite some late pressure from the Lions, the Sharks kept them out to go into halftime with a deserved 10-point lead.

Lions claw their way back into the contest to stay on the heels of their opponents.

Both flyhalves missed long-range penalties after the interval.

The Lions came out firing after the break.

They played with tempo and continued to unsettle the home team’s set-pieces. A mistake by Ulengo cost the visitors a possible try, but the winger redeemed himself.

Some quick thinking by the captain, who instead of opting to kick to the corner for a driving maul, led to the Lions’ only try.

Jantjies spotted Ulengo alone with Bosch and kicked a pin-point crossfield penalty into the hands of the winger. The captain converted the sideline conversion to make it a one-score game.

Bosch extended his team’s lead to six on 57 minutes, but Jantjies replied with another penalty of his own on the hour mark.

The Lions, who were outplayed for much of the game, had the better of the last half-hour, they just could not turn opportunities into points.

At one stage, the Sharks had 84% possession, but Ivan van Rooyen’s charges brought the percentage to almost level as they controlled long periods of the second stanza.

Another promising attack saw Jantjies miss a drop-goal, however, the visitors had a penalty advantage.

The skipper made no mistake from in front to level the scores at 16-all with nine minutes remaining. Everitt’s side was hanging on.

Two minutes later, Bosch put the Durban men back in front from distance, with his fourth penalty of the night.

The Lions, though, came roaring back. They marched into the opposition’s half before winning a penalty. Jantjies opted for poles as the clock ticked down.

Late mistakes from Jantjies sees the Sharks hold out for the win.

The ball hit the post and rebounded out. Burger Odendaal regathered, but the Sharks won a penalty at the following melee.

Jantjies was livid with himself, and so he should have been.

With seconds remaining on the clock, the Lions won a kickable penalty. The captain, however, decided to take a scrum instead of going for the draw.

His forwards did not deliver, conceding a penalty, which allowed Bosch to boot the ball high into the empty stands as the Sharks held on for a fortunate victory.

Final Score: Sharks 19 (13) Lions 16 (3)

Scorers

Sharks
Tries – Kok
Pen – Bosch (4)
Con – Bosch
Drop –
Cards –

Lions
Tries – Ulengo
Pen – Jantjies (3)
Con – Jantjies
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 1: Paul Mente
Assistant Ref 2: Archie Sehlako
TMO: Rasta Rasivhenge

Match Officials
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 1: Paul Mente
Assistant Ref 2: Archie Sehlako
TMO: Rasta Rasivhenge

Teams

Sharks

15 Manie Libbok, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Phepsi Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Dylan Richardson, 1 Ox Nche

Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Mpilo Gumede, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Thaakir Abrahams

Lions

15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Burger Odendaal, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole

Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 MJ Pelser, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Morné van den Berg, 23 Gianni Lombard

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  1. Pingback: Bulls vs Sharks live Super Rugby Unlocked score update - Super Rugby | Super 15 Rugby and Rugby Championship News,Results and Fixtures from Super XV Rugby

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