Super Rugby

Sharks beat Pumas in Nelspruit




The Pumas and Sharks go head-to-head for the first time in Super Rugby Unlocked at Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit.

The Pumas have led at half-time in each of their last two Super Rugby Unlocked games, going on to win and pick up one losing bonus point from those fixtures.

  • The Sharks have earned a win and a loss in their two Super Rugby Unlocked games thus far; however, they remain one of just two teams (Lions) yet to score 20+ points in a game this season.
  • The Pumas have stolen 10 lineouts from their opponents’ throw in Super Rugby Unlocked, twice as many as any other team in the competition; the Durban side is one of two teams (Griquas) yet to steal even one lineout this campaign.
  • James Venter (Sharks) has made 21 tackles in Super Rugby Unlocked, the joint-second most of any player, and the most of any player who is yet to miss a single tackle.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! Curwin Bosch gets underway in Nelspruit at Mbombela Stadium. Willie Engelbrecht leads the home team onto the field in his 50th Pumas appearence.

2.00: A scrappy beginning as the Pumas don’t find touch with a 22 clearance. Bosch’s bomb is dropped, the Sharks win a turnover and counter-attack.

3.00: TRY! Marius Louw breaks through, pops to a support runner before Manie Libbok scores. 0-5

4.00: CONVERSION! Bosch adds the extras. 0-7

6.00: Sharks look to increase the tempo, going wide wherever they can; however, a promising attack comes to an end when the Pumas win a penalty at the ruck.

9.00: The front rows both pop-up at the same time; the ref obviously doesn’t know what to do, so he calls for a reset. Talk about not wanting to take responsibility.

10.00: The Sharks get the call from the official, winning a penalty. They kick to touch.

11.00: NO TRY! The Sharks drive towards the line, but some good defending leads to a knock-on by John-Hubert Meyer. That was poor by the visitors.

14.00: TRY! Madosh Tambwe gets through a gap and goes all the way to score. 0-12

15.00: CONVERSION! Bosch adds another two points. 0-14

17.00: It’s all sharks at the moment, but luckily for the Pumas, Am’s grubber is not gathered and rolls out.

18.00: Bosch’s cross-kick is not gathered by Tambwe; however, the visitors had a penalty advantage, so will go for another lineout-drive.

19.00: TRY! A powerful driving maul leads to the third try for the Durban franchise. Dan Jooste gets up with the ball. 0-19

20.00: CONVERSION! Bosch lands his third conversion. 0-21

24.00: Sharks look to attack from deep inside their half, but another handling error by the Pumas, gifts the visitors a scrum.

26.00: Meyer gets pinged for collapsing the scrum. Devon Williams kicks to the corner.

27.00: TRY! Francois Kleinhans, almost stopped by Phepsi Buthelezi, is driven over the chalk by his team-mates. 5-21

28.00: CONVERSION! Fiela Boshoff slots the wide conversion. 7-21

30.00: Fiela Boshoff, in for the injured Eddie Fouche, who dislocated his knee, has been sound. The flyhalf clears his lines.

31.00: Williams kicks another penalty to the opposition’s half. The Pumas have been good value at the breakdown, winning a couple of turnovers and penalties.

34.00: Am hoofs Bosch’s chip-kick ahead, but the ball goes dead. The scrum will take place inside the home team’s 10m.

36.00: Both teams looking to play in the wide channels, throwing the ball around. The hosts win a penalty for offside by Phepsi Buthelezi. Boshoff calls for the tee.

38.00: MISS! Boshoff pushes his kick wide.

39.00: Darrien Landsburg gives away a late penalty; Bosch boots the ball to the opposition’s 22.

41.00: TRY! Sbu Nkosi bounces Williams out of the way with a stiff arm to score in the corner. The Sharks went wide from the driving maul before Bosch sent out a long bounce-pass to the World Cup-winning winger. 7-26

42.00: CONVERSION! Bosch squeezes his touchline kick inside the left-hand post. 7-28

The halftime score was Pumas 7 Sharks 28

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Nelspruit.

43.00: Williams kicks the penalty to the Sharks’ 22.

44.00: JJ van der Mescht wins the Sharks’ first lineout steal of the Super Rugby Unlocked campaign. Bosch kicks to the opposition’s 22, but the hosts go quickly, running from their 22. The attack ends when Williams steps into touch.

45.00: The Sharks also go quickly, but Jeandré Rudolph wins his side a penalty at the breakdown.

48.00: Louw drives around the side of the ruck – penalty to the home team, who boots the ball to just outside the 22. Richardson also gives away a penalty allowing the Pumas to kick to the corner.

50.00: Another penalty against the Sharks for a high tackle by Hyron Andrews on Ginter Smuts. Another lineout-drive on its way for the hosts.

52.00: Dylan Richardson gives away another penalty; the ref warns Am he will go to his pocket. Williams kicks to the corner – again. Richardson makes amends, winning the loose throw. Scrum to the Sharks for the knock-on.

53.00: Tambwe is tackled into touch by Neil Maritz, who stops a promising counter-attack.

54.00: TRY! A Pumas counter-attack of a scrum leads to Erich Cronje scoring next to the posts after Maritz and Etienne Taljaard combine to send the outside centre away. 12-28

56.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 14-28

59.00: The Sharks have an attacking scrum inside the Pumas’ 22. The visitors win another penalty and opt for another scrum, which is reset.

61.00: Williams counter-attacks from his line after the Sharks lose possession when scoring looked easier. The fullback raced to the halfway line before sending Taljaard away. The winger was tracked down by Nkosi to stop the try.

62.00: The visitors win back the ball, Bosch clears.

63.00: Henco Venter is pinged for taking out the legs in the maul. Williams kicks to the corner for what feels like the 20th time.

65.00: YELLOW CARD! Sanele Nohamba goes to the bin for another infringement. 14-28

66.00: Sean Everitt’s side has lost their way since halftime, it’s all Pumas as the visitors look to slow the game down.

67.00: TRY! Kerron van Vuuren, on for Jooste, flops over the whitewash after a powerful driving maul from the KZN team. 14-33

69.00: CONVERSION! Bosch slots the widish kick. He’s been perfect from the tee. 14-35

71.00: Two new front rows means more reset scrums. The Sharks are looking to milk the clock.

72.00: TRY! Ginter Smuts delivers a sublime triple cut-out pass to Cronje, on the wing, to score in the corner. 19-35

73.00: MISS! Neil Marais pulls his kick past the posts. 19-35

76.00: Sharks back to full quota and are attacking inside the opposition’s 22.

78.00: TRY! Kerron van Vuuren at the double. The hooker crashes over after another bruising driving maul. 19-40

80.00: CONVERSION! Bosch draws his kick inside the left-hand post. 19-42.

81.00: Scrum to the Sharks after the poor restart. Bosch kicks the ball into touch.


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The final score is Pumas 19 (7) Sharks 42 (28)


Tries – Kleinhans, Cronje (2)
Pen –
Con – Boshoff (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Libbok, Tambwe, Jooste, Nkosi, Van Vuuren (2)
Pen –
Con – Bosch (6)
Drop –
Cards – Nohamba (Yellow, 65′)

Match Officials
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 1: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Ref 2: Egon Seconds
TMO: Marius Jonker



15 Devon Williams, 14 Neil Maritz, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Fiela Boshoff, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsburg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Liam Hendricks

Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Stepan de Jager, 18 Brendon Valentyn, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Chriswill Willemse, 21 Neil Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Dewald Maritz, 24 Daniel Maartens, 25 HP van Schoor, 26 Kwanda Dimaza


15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Ox Nche

Replacements: 16. Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Yaw Penxe

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