Super Rugby

Sublime Sharks sink stubborn Stormers to go top of Super Rugby

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The Sharks beat the Stormers 24-14 in an attritional South African derby at a sunny and hot Kings Park, Durban.

The sublime Sharks go back to the top of the Super Rugby log with a bruising victory over a stubborn Stormers outfit, who stayed in the game until the final minutes.

Both teams shared two tries apiece either side of the interval, but it was the boot of Curwin Bosch, coupled with Stormers ill-discipline that did for the Cape Town-based franchise.

Bosch kicked three penalties, a conversion, and a drop-goal to see the home team over the line.

Herschel Jantjies and Paul de Wet dotted down for the Stormers to keep them in the game.

De Wet’s 61st-minute and Damian Willemse’s conversion put the Stormers in front for the only time of the contest.

But Bosch kicked two late second-half penalties to give the Sharks a late lead before the magnificent Makazole Mapimpi finished off the tired opposition.

Derby starts with  foul play and botched referee call

This bruising derby started with foul play by Johan du Toit on Louis Schreuder six seconds after kick-off.

Du Toit took out Schreuder in the air as the scrumhalf jumped to take Jean-Luc du Plessis’ deep kick.

The scrumhalf landed on his back, and his head hit the ground with a thud.

Du Toit knew he was in trouble because he lay with his face hiding in the Kings Park turf, and the TV footage of his coach John Dobson putting his head in his hands said everything.

Yet, somehow, he only received a yellow card after referee AJ Jacobs overruled TMO Willie Vos’ recommendation of red despite Jacobs having another long look at the big-screen replay.

It is arguably the worst decision in Super Rugby all season by Mr Jacobs; that kind of foul play has been a straight red card in every competition around the globe.

Schreuder left the field on a stretcher and never returned after failing his HIA.

The Sharks did not take advantage of their extra man, making silly handling mistakes inside good field position.

The Stormers hung on until they got back to 15 men with the game still scoreless.

An entertaining game had to wait until the 26th-minute before any points were scored

Then just like London busses, another try came straight afterwards to make it 7-all after half-an-hour.

Fassi opened the scoring after a beautiful delayed pop-pass by Bosch.

Bosch drew Scarra Ntubeni and sent Fassi between the hooker while slipping Jamie Roberts’ weak tackle to race away and score.

The Stormers hit back immediately, though, through Jantjies after the restart.

The Stormers kicked deep; a nothing up-and-under landed in the arms of Juarno Augustus, who started the counter-attack.

Augustus carried, took the tackle before offloading to the supporting Dillyn Leyds on his outside.

Leyds sped into the Sharks’ 22, drew the covering Bosch and Sanele Nohamba, and sent Jantjies away under the posts with an inside pass.

Starting fullback Willemse, moved to flyhalf following Jean-Luc du Plessis’ injury, levelled from in front.

Bosch missed an 18th- and 33rd-minute penalties, which kept the visitors level.

But he did, however, hit a last-play drop-goal at the end of the half. It gave his team a slim three-point lead at the break.

Sloppy Sharks let Stormers off the hook

Sean Everitt’s side dominated both territory (75%) and possession (70%), but could not make their superiority count.

Two excellent opportunities went begging after pinning the opposition inside their 22m.

Mapimpi caused havoc down the left-wing, knocked-on with the try-line at his mercy, soon after the interval.

Everitt’s charges kept going as Dobson’s men leaked penalties at an alarming rate.

The Stormers repelled several lineouts and driving mauls before the Sharks decided to take the points.

Bosch’s penalty, on 50 minutes, increased the lead to six points.

Stormers repel Sharks’ attacks and strike on the hour with sucker-punch

Despite all the home team’s dominance, their lack of cutting edge came back to bite the men in black.

Several attacks inside the opposition’s half led to only three points, and the visitors made them pay.

Against the run of play, the visitors struck.

De Wet took Augustus’ inside pass after the number eight drew the last defender.

Earlier, Willemse had put Augustus through the gap – and Bosch – and the No 8 sped through to set-up De Wet’s second Super Rugby try.

Willemse put his side in front for the first time with his second conversion.

Profligate Sharks win the game in the final 10 minutes as Stormers tire

The Sharks kept going, though. Sbu Nkosi won a penalty after Willemse and Leyds’ counter-attack.

Sharks skipper Lukhanyo Am decided to go for a long-range shot at goal.

Bosch nailed the penalty to put his side back in front with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Dobson’s men looked dead on their feet; the Sharks are a supremely fit outfit, and they ran the opposition ragged in the last quarter of an hour.

A big scrum by the home team’s forwards saw them earn the men in black another shot at goal.

The visitors had nothing left in the tank; the hosts had a lot more to give.

Mapimpi finished proceedings, racing away from Leyds to dive over in the corner to secure another win for the high-flying Durban side.

Final Score: Sharks 24 (10) Stormers 14 (7)

Scorers

Sharks
Tries – Fassi, Mapimpi
Pen – Bosch (3)
Con – Bosch
Drop – Bosch
Cards –

Stormers
Tries – Jantjies, De Wet
Pen –
Con – Willemse (2)
Drop –
Cards – J. Du Toit (Yellow, 1′)

Match Officials
Referee:  AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 1: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 2: Divan Uys
TMO: Willie Vos

Teams

Sharks

Head Coach: Sean Everitt

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.

Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Madosh Tambwe.

Stormers

Head Coach: John Dobson

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 John Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Rikus Pretorius, 23 Sergeal Petersen.

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