Super Rugby

Sharks victorious after Waratahs implode




The Sharks beat the Waratahs 15-23 to end a long-standing hoodoo against the Australian franchise at Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta.

The Sharks had not won in Sydney for 19 years, losing their last eight against the Tahs down under, their longest losing streak in Super Rugby.

The Durban franchise, however, made hard work of this unlikeliest of victories.

Bernard Foley scored in overtime to set-up a chance of a losing bonus-point, but he pushed his kick, wide.

Andre Esterhuizen and Daniel du Preez crossed either side of halftime for the Sharks.

Curwin Bosh kicked 13 points in an assured first outing at flyhalf in two years.

Jake Gordon also found his way onto the scoreboard after a well-worked first-half try.

The game, however, changed early in the second half.

Jed Holloway and Jack Dempsey were both red and yellow carded respectively, for foul play.

Thomas du Toit received a yellow for his part in the Holloway incident, which was a bit harsh because all he did was pull the lock’s jersey, stopping him from chasing a kick.

Super Rugby Video Highlights: Waratahs versus Sharks, Round 11, Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta

Robert Du Preez’s men mad the extra two players count, racking up 13 points after the interval.

Ezterhuizen crossed soon after Dempsey’s sin-binning for a tip-tackle, and the tourists never looked back.

They did, however, soak up some late pressure, and despite some poor kicking from the tee – as they looked to run down the clock while Du Toit was off the field – they hung on to a famous victory.

The Waratahs did not give up, though, they just ran out of steam – and time.

Bosch, playing at first receiver for the first time since 2017 – and in place of the beleaguered coach’s son Rob du Preez Jnr – eventually kicked two penalties, punishing the opposition’s ill-discipline.

Waratahs dominate the first half, but sides go into the break, level

The teams went into the break at 10-all after a Gordon score cancelled out Dan Du Preez’s 14th-minute try.

Foley and Bosch traded a penalty and conversion apiece.

This was a game between two inconsistent teams who can’t seem to string a run of victories together.

They are both like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get.

Sharks’ coach Robert du Preez has come under fire from a former teammate Tony Watson.

The former Sharks wing – and a crowd favourite – wrote an open letter to Kwa-Zulu Natal newspaper The Mercury stating his concern as to how the Durban franchise is being run.

Watson also made accusations of nepotism, highlighting the coach’s son’s poor defensive displays.

His criticism is warranted because the Sharks have been mercurial, and Rob Jnr has been iffy at flyhalf.

Foley opened the scoring with an early penalty after the Waratahs failed to find a way through some strong defence by the Sharks.

Sharks strike twice to stay in the hunt

Dan du Preez scored with the Sharks first meaningful attack after kicking a penalty to the corner. Du Toit carried to the try-line.

The ball was recycled and sent to the number eight, who broke Michael Wells’ weak tackle and dived over under the posts. Bosch added the extras.

The visitors struggled to get out of their half for the next 10 minutes.

Cam Cam Clarke smoked Makazole Mapimpi with a huge hit that left the winger on his back receiving treatment.

The Sharks cleared but only to halfway as they struggled to get out of their half.

Dan du Preez threw a pass into touch after Jean-Luc du Preez won a significant turnover.

The South Africans managed to clear from a scrum, but the resulting lineout led to the home team’s first try of the evening.

New South Wales sucked in the opposition forwards, Gordon looked up and broke blind.

The scrumhalf played Curtis Rona, who raced into the Sharks’ 22, drew Sbu Nkosi and putt Gordon away in the corner.

Foley made no mistake from the sideline conversion.

Despite the home team dominating territory and possession, they conceded a penalty within two minutes of scoring. Bosch levelled the scores.

The Australians camped inside the Sharks’ half for the remainder of the half, but their poor handling coupled with some exceptional defence kept the scores at 10 apiece at the break.

Three card trick

Something happened in the shed during the break because afterwards, the Waratahs imploded.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw Jed Holloway red-carded for elbowing Du Toit.

The tighthead prop also saw a card, but only yellow for his cynical play.

The Sharks opted to take a shot at goal to run the clock down while they were a man down; however, Bosch pushed his kick, wide.

A couple of minutes later, the visitors were awarded another penalty.

The 21-year-old called for the tee again, but again he missed, cutting his kick across the posts.

The Tahs were losing their discipline and their minds

Another penalty was awarded after Mapimpi knocked on near the try line.

TMO George Ayoub was called to check for foul play at the previous ruck.

The replay showed Dempsey and Damien Fitzpatrick double-teaming Sbu Nkosi.

It was Dempsey who lifted the winger above the horizontal and drove his head towards the ground.

It was yellow for the flanker, and NSW was down to 13 men.

The Sharks opted to eschew another kick at goal, this time opting for an attacking lineout. It worked.

Akker van der Merwe and Daniel du Preez both carried the ball forward, busting tackles as they charged towards the Tahs’ goal-line.

The ball was recycled and sent wide to Esterhuizen.

The centre went Route One towards the chalk, carrying Harry Johnson-Holmes and Foley with him over the line.

The TMO – who was having a busy night – was called into action.

Referee Nic Berry had called “no try”, but he was told to overturn his decision because the 25-year-old had dotted down.

Bosch added the extras.

The seven-point lead was no less than they deserved, but they had struggled to use the extra man to good effect.

The visitors’ forwards were dominating the opposition; the extra man made the difference as they won multiple scrum-penalties at vital times in the match.

Bosch kicked two more penalties, one from 53 metres as the tourists kept the scoreboard ticking.

The Tahs threw everything at their opponents in the final stages, eventually crossing the whitewash in the fifth minute of overtime.

The Sharks ran out of defenders as the Waratahs laid siege.

They won another scrum-penalty and cleared, but their hosts came back at them, camping inside the red zone.

Foley, the last man out wide, received the ball and cut inside on his left foot to score a critical five points, however, he still had to convert for a losing bonus-point.

The standoff took his time, but under pressure from the chasing Sharks, pushed his kick wide – and to the dismay of the home crowd.

Final Score: Waratahs 15 (10) Sharks 23 (10)


Tries – Gordon, Foley
Pen – Foley
Con – Foley
Drop –
Cards – Holloway (Red, 46′), Dempsey (Yellow, 51′)

Tries – D. Du Preez, Esterhuizen
Pen – Bosch (3)
Con – Bosch (2)
Drop –
Cards – Du Toit (Yellow, 46′)


Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Amy Perrett
TMO: George Ayoub



15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.

Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lachlan Swinton, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Alex Newsome.


15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (captain).

Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Marius Louw.

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