Sharks blow ‘Canes away

Fiji Sun - - Sport -

Dur­ban: The Sharks made a big state­ment when they claimed a vi­tal 32-15 vic­tory over the Hur­ri­canes in Dur­ban last Satur­day. There was plenty at stake for the Sharks against their in-form op­po­nents but af­ter soak­ing up the pres­sure dur­ing the first half they took con­trol of pro­ceed­ings af­ter the in­ter­val and outscored their vis­i­tors four tries to two with JP Pi­etersen lead­ing the way with a well de­served brace. The home side, who were crit­i­cised for their poor at­tack­ing play in their pre­vi­ous matches, si­lenced their critics with a su­perb all­round dis­play and it was their abil­ity to win the col­li­sions as well as the set-piece bat­tle which had a huge bear­ing on this re­sult. The win con­sol­i­dates the Sharks’ po­si­tion in the Africa Two Con­fer­ence ta­ble and although they are still in sec­ond place, they are just a point adrift of the Lions. The Hur­ri­canes’ de­feat is costly as it means they are still in fourth place in the New Zealand Con­fer­ence, a point be­hind the High­landers, who moved above them in the stand­ings af­ter their win over the Chiefs earlier on Satur­day. The Sharks thought they had scored the open­ing try in 11th minute when Garth April made a stun­ning break from in­side his half and off­loaded to Paul Jor­daan, who dot­ted down un­der the posts, but the ef­fort was dis­al­lowed as April’s pass went for­ward. This af­ter he ran onto an in­side pass from James Mar­shall deep in­side the Sharks’ 22 and barged over with two de­fend­ers on his back.

Five min­utes af­ter the restart, Pi­etersen pounced on a way­ward pass from Brad Shields, close to the half­way line, to give the hosts the lead for the first time.

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