Gri­quas see red

Ref’s card shat­ters home side and gives Sharks a shock win

CityPress - - Sport - DAN RETIEF dan.retief@city­

A red card shown by ref­eree Craig Jou­bert to Gri­quas cen­tre Jonathan Francke in the seventh minute dis­torted this game at the GWK Sta­dium in Kim­ber­ley and ar­guably cost the home side a shock vic­tory over the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons.

Francke and full­back Nico Scheep­ers gang-tack­led Sharks full­back SP Marais, but man­aged to tip him over the hor­i­zon­tal and send him crash­ing head-first to the ground.

Ref­eree Jou­bert, who a week ago had been in Sydney di­rect­ing the Su­per Rugby fi­nal, asked for the in­ci­dent to be re­viewed by the TMO. He de­cided that Francke was the guilty party, and that the in­ci­dent was se­ri­ous enough to war­rant dis­missal for the rest of the match – a straight red in­stead of a yel­low.

Be­ing trimmed to 14 men dis­rupted the Gri­quas and the Sharks were able to make the most of their nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage by stack­ing up an 18-3 lead at the break.

Gri­quas scored first af­ter the break to start the long haul back when Burger Schoe­man fought hard to get the ball down on the line as he was sand­wiched in a tackle.

How­ever, the killer blow came just two min­utes later via S’bura Sit­hole.

The cen­tre, who has made such an im­pact this sea­son, smashed strongly through the mid­dle be­fore set­ting off on a 50m dash to the line – iron­i­cally through a gap that might not have been there had Francke still been on the field.

Gri­quas how­ever, re­fused to buckle and had the sat­is­fac­tion of scor­ing the last two tries of the game – in­clud­ing a su­perb ef­fort by Ederies Arendse, who did his sur­name proud by soar­ing high to out­leap Marais and claim the ball in the air.

But in their ea­ger­ness to use what lit­tle time was left to push for vic­tory, the Gri­quas erred and Fred Zeilinga scored the penalty to seal an im­por­tant away win for the Sharks; the home side at least get­ting a bonus point for their ef­forts.

As was to be ex­pected so early in the com­pe­ti­tion, both teams lacked ac­cu­racy, but the Sharks could feel sat­is­fied that there was enough met­tle in their re­serves to be com­pet­i­tive.

The Gri­quas will take heart that they can take on the big teams – par­tic­u­larly on their home patch.

In Port El­iz­a­beth on Fri­day night, a try by Ch­es­lin Kolbe af­ter full time gave Western Province a vi­tal bonus point for scor­ing four tries as they beat the EP Kings 3516.

Round Two fix­tures – Fri­day: 7.10pm – Sharks vs Pu­mas, King’s Park. Satur­day: 2pm – WP vs Bulls, New­lands; 5.05pm – Lions vs EP Kings, El­lis Park; 7.10pm – Chee­tahs vs Gri­quas.


TOUCH­DOWN Edries Arendse of Gri­quas scores a try as SP Marais tries in vain to stop him

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