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Reds bushwhack beleaguered Sharks

Tate McDermott was excellent in the Reds' victory over the Sharks at Kings Park, Durban

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 19: Tate McDermott of The St.George Queensland Reds during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Reds at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on April 19, 2019 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

The Reds upset the sorry Sharks 14-21, combining strong defence with a shrewd attacking display at Kings Park, Durban.

Bryce Hegarty, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Tate McDermott all crossed for the Queensland Reds as they outscored their hosts three tries to two.

It is the Queensland side’s first victory in Durban since the two teams’ dour 5-6 disaster in 2004, and their first away win in South Africa since beating the defunct Cheetahs in 2015.

The win was also the first time the Australians had beaten an existing South African Super Rugby franchise since they beat the Stormers in 2011.

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Brad Thorn’s men were all heroes, a young team up against season veterans, especially in the pack, but they stood tall.

Super Rugby Video Highlights: Sharks versus Reds, Durban, Kings Park, Round 10, 2019

Captain Samu Kerevi was a monster with the ball in hand; the proverbial one-man wrecking crew.

He was ably supported by halfback McDermott and Hegarty, who controlled play expertly.

Liam Wright won the important penalty at the death, but he was outstanding throughout.

The front row struggled early on, although they came back strong after the break, ending the game on top.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Scott Higginbotham, Izack Rodda and Angus Scott-Young were immense, causing havoc in contact and holding up the Sharks big ball-carriers.

Split-personality Sharks are the architects of their own downfall

Another poor display by the Jekyll and Hyde Sharks cannot be explained.

Kerron van Vuuren and Dan du Preez crossed for the men in black, but their attack was blunt.

Decision-making was head-scratching at times; they turned away multiple shots at goal which came back to bite them.

The entire backline was terrible; they struggled with their passing and they could not catch a cold. Rob du Preez again left before the finish.

The Sharks looked better with Curwin Bosch at first receiver, but that could be because the opposition was tiring, and already had the game won.

They missed midfield powerhouse Lukhanyo Am, rendering Andre Esterhuizen ineffective without his partner.

Lwazi Mvovo and Sbu Nkosi spurned multiple chances in the wide channels, but they are not to blame for another insipid display.

They made double-digit handling errors and missed tackles that will not cut it at this level.

Robert du Preez Snr’s side thrashed the Lions in Johannesburg before the Jaguares put up a half-century on them, last week.

Reds take the few chances afforded them in tight opening 40 minutes

This was an attritional match, littered with mistakes, but it was the visitors who took their opportunities when they came.

The tourists did see much ball, but they made it count when they did get their hands on the pill.

Queensland took a deserved seven-point lead into halftime after tries by Hegarty and Feauai-Sautia, punished their error-strewn hosts.

A mishap from the Sharks’ first lineout kick-started a deep counter-attack, which ended with Hegarty crossing under the posts.

The standoff spotted Coenie Oosthuizen in front of him and darted past him to open the scoring.

Kerevi beat Rob du Preez’s weak tackle in the 19th minute to set up the second score.

He carried in contact before playing his centre partner Feauai-Sautia, on the outside shoulder, away.

Hegarty kicked both easy conversions and the home side was reeling.

Sharks hit back, but it is not enough as Reds hang on

The Sharks, who struggled to hold onto the ball throughout, replied from a driving maul in the 25th minute.

Van Vuuren flopped over the whitewash to the relief of his captain Louis Schreuder, who had turned down four shots at goal.

The sloppy sharks continued where they left off in the first stanza.

Their handling was poor, and their one-off runner game-plan was withstood with ease.

McDermott’s try extended the visitors’ lead after some wonderful play between himself, Higginbotham and Hegarty.

As the game wore on, the Reds’ pack started to dominate while the opposition started to tire.

They won the tight and loose facets of the match and kept the hosts away from their 22, reducing them to scraps.

Du Preez crashed over before the hooter, but the final 11-phase attack ended when Wright pilfered a penalty at the breakdown to seal the long-awaited road victory in Durban.

Final Score: Sharks 14 (7) Reds 21 (14)


Tries – Van Vuuren, D. du Preez
Pen –
Con – R. du Preez, Bosch
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Hegarty, Feauai-Sautia, McDermott
Pen –
Con – Hegarty (2), Stewart
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2: Jaco Peyper
TMO: Marius Jonker



15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Kobus van Wyk, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Aphelele Fassi.


15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Jack Hardy, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Harry Hoopert.

Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Jock Campbell.

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