Hurricanes & Sharks finish level


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The Sharks remained unbeaten after their eighth round match against the Hurricanes with both team scoring 13 points each.

The match was not without controversy as there was a penalty try, a yellow card and a red card……and a big call for another penalty try.

The match was tight throughout and the scores were level at 3 all at half time.

The Sharks could have stolen the victory with a late penalty kick but Rory Kockott’s kick hit the posts.

The referee’s performance was the focus of intense scrutiny Saturday after the draw which preserved the Durban-based Sharks’ unbeaten record.

Australian referee Paul Marks reduced both teams to 14 men during the second half, sin-binning Hurricanes prop Neemia Tialata for an off-the-ball tackle on Sharks’ fullback Stefan Terblanche and sending off the Sharks’ former Tongan international Epi Taione in the 65th minute for head-butting.

Both those decisions were backed up by replays and the intervention of linesmen, but a penalty try Marks awarded to the Sharks and another he denied the Hurricanes may be the subject of further scrutiny.

Marks awarded the Sharks a penalty try in the 71st minute when he ruled the Hurricanes had deliberately collapsed a maul over their own goalline.

The try, converted by Ruan Pienaar, gave the South Africans’ a 13-6 lead in a hard-fought match in which all previous points had come from penalties.

The decision to award a penalty try might have been harsh as it could have collapsed under its own weight.

But the Australian referee’s most contentious decision was to deny the Hurricanes a penalty try in injury time when former All Blacks center Conrad Smith, chasing a kick in the Sharks’ in-goal area, was taken out of play without the ball.

Hurricanes captain Rodney So’oialo did not want to discuss the referee’s performance after the match.

“It’s one of those things we have to get over,” So’oialo said.

“The ref has made his call and we can’t change it now.” Hurricanes officials said they were likely to officially raise questions about Marks performance and there is provision for referees’ administrators to examine his performance.

Marks’ calls saved the Sharks from what should have been their first loss of the season. The teams were locked 3-3, a penalty apiece, at halftime and the Sharks had nudged ahead with a long-range penalty to Francois Steyn after 52 minutes.

Jimmy Gopperth tied the scores with a 66th-minute penalty for Hurricanes then the Sharks, down to 14 men and struggling, were given a vital advantage with the penalty try.



Final score Hurricanes 13 Sharks 13



Tries – Hore
Pen -Gopperth (2)
Con -Gopperth
Cards – Tialata (yellow)


Tries – Penalty
Pen -Pienaar, Steyn
Con -Steyn
Cards – Taione (Red)


Saturday April 5
Venue :Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)
Assistant Referees : Kelvin Deaker (Australia), James Scholtens (New Zealand)
TV Match Official : Brent Murray (New Zealand)
Reviewer/Perf. Auditor : Kim Eichamnn (New Zealand)


15 Cory Jane, 14 Ma’a Nonu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 11 Shannon Paku, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Rodney So’oialo (c), 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 John Schwalger.
Reserves: 16 Hikawera Elliot, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Jeremy Thrush, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Willie Ripia, 22 Hosea Gear.


15. Stefan Terblanche, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Francois Steyn, 12. Bradley Barritt, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Frederic Michalak, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Keegan Daniel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Johann Muller ( Capt ), 4. Steven Sykes, 3. BJ Botha
2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Jannie du Plessis, 18. Albert van den Berg, 19. AJ Venter, 20. Epi Taione, 21. Rory Kockott, 22. Adrian Jacobs.


SAPA – AP   

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