Sharks stay in the Super 14 with late try


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The Sharks stayed in the hunt for a Super 14 play-off place after they beat the Cheetahs by 33 points to 14.


Jacques Botes won man of the match after he scored three tries with his third coming just after the break.


The Sharks, along with the 24 850 fans who turned up to watch them, breathed a collective sigh of relief at the Absa Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the coastal franchise picked up their bonus point win over the Cheetahs to keep alive their hopes of making the Super 14 semi-finals.

And in the end, when all the dust had settled, it was winger Odwa Ndungane who emerged as the hero after scoring two late tries to secure the win and bonus point.

With the clock winding down and the Sharks leading 19-14, the pressure began to rapidly build on the hosts as they desperately went in search of the bonus point try that had thus far eluded them.

But it eventually came in dramatic fashion as Ndungane went over in the final minute to send the home crowd into ecstasy. Moments later he was over again and the fans and the Sharks looked heavenwards gratefully.

Warm and dry conditions welcomed the Sharks back to their home turf for their first match after returning from an arduous five week overseas tour.

And it proved to be a good omen for them as they made the most of the conditions and were truly dominant for most of the opening stanza.

They always looked like scoring tries and it was just a matter of time before flank Jacques Botes obliged, going over from a rolling maul in the fifteenth minute after the Sharks had set up the lineout just a few metres out.

Just a few minutes earlier it had looked as if Ndungane would be the opening try-scorer for the Sharks after he collected a kick ahead by No 8 Ryan Kankowski and dived over the line.

TMO Michael Cupido correctly ruled no try though after he noticed an off the ball push on a Cheetahs player by Kankowski.

And on the half hour mark it was Botes again, this time picking up from close range and burrowing over the tryline for the Sharks and his second try, referee Willie Roos felt it necessary to go upstairs again but it was a clear try and it was awarded accordingly by Cupido.

With the hosts now 14-0 up, after scrumhalf Rory Kockott was successful with the first two conversions, a bonus point win was looking a formality but with just moments left before half-time centre Frans Steyn had a bit of a brain fade.

Instead of dotting the ball down in goal, after a long Cheetahs punt saw the ball roll harmlessly over the try line, the 20-year-old tried to run the ball out of trouble before kicking away possession.

And the Cheetahs gleefully accepted, recycled the ball and sent it wide to winger Jongi Nokwe who went over in the corner.

A successful conversion from flyhalf Conrad Barnard brought the Cheetahs back into the game at 14-7.

However, the Sharks clearly didn’t harbor any resentment and Botes was once again on hand early in the second half, going over for his hat-trick. This time though, Kockott was unsuccessful with the conversion.

With the Sharks looking pretty at 19-7, the Cheetahs launched themselves into an extended period of supremacy with centre Meyer Bosman eventually going over under the posts to reward the Free Staters for their gumption.

Suddenly, the Sharks were looking a little nervous and that feeling only got worse as it got closer and closer to full-time with still no bonus point try.

However, cometh the hour cometh the man and on this occasion that man was Ndungane.


Final Score Sharks 33 Cheetahs 14





Tries – Jacques Botes (3) Odwa Ndungane (2)
Pen –
Con – Rory Kockott (4)
Cards – Albert van den Berg 59 (yellow)



Tries – Jongi Nokwe,Meyer Bosman
Pen –
Con – Conrad Barnard, Tewis de Bruyn

Cards – Rory Duncan 12 (yellow)


Absa Stadium, Durban
Sharks vs Cheetahs in Durban
Willie Roos (South Africa)
Assistant Referee: JC Fortuin (South Africa), Pro Legoete (South Africa)
TMO: Michael Cupido (South Africa)
Assessor: Banks Yantolo (South Africa) 



Sharks Squad:

Beast Mtawarira, Deon Carstens, Craig Burden, Bismarck du Plessis, BJ Botha, Jannie du Plessis, Johann Muller, Albert van den Berg, Steven Sykes, Johan Ackermann, Jacques Botes, Keegan Daniel, AJ Venter, Jean Deysel, Ryan Kankowski

Rory Kockott, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Waylon Murray, Bradley Barritt, Adi Jacobs, Francois Steyn, Odwa Ndungane, Henno Mentz, Stefan Terblanche.


Hennie Daniller, Eddie Fredericks, JW Jonker, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe, Conrad Barnard, Falie Oelschig, Duanne Vermeulen, Juan Smith (capt.), Heinrich Brussow, Barend Pieterse, Rory Duncan, CJ van der Linde, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Bees Roux, David de Villiers, Hendro Scholtz, Tewis de Bruyn, Bevin Fortuin, Hendrik Meyer.

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