Sharks take a big bite out of Bulls

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - THEO GARRUN

THE KwaZulu-Na­tal Sharks were the most im­pres­sive side on view of Day 2 of the Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithi­ans Col­lege yes­ter­day, beat­ing the Blue Bulls 53-33 in the final game of the day.

It was a try-fest, with the teams scor­ing 13 be­tween them, eight by the Sharks.

The KZN side raced to a 38-0 lead be­fore the Bulls be­gan a spir­ited fight back in the sec­ond half, clos­ing the gap to 38-26 at one stage, but the Sharks got two late tries and a penalty to make the game safe.

The Sharks backs are small in stature but full of tricky run­ning and they made a lot of friends in the big crowd at Saints, daz­zling with their foot­work which ran the big Bulls play­ers ragged.

It was a great team ef­fort by the young Sharks, with No 8 Pepsi Buthelezi and flank Dy­lan Richard­son im­pres­sive up-front, while Sanele No­hamba, Cham Zon­deki and Siyande Cele were ex­cit­ing with ball in hand.

Richard­son, Buthelezi, No­hamba – who also slot­ted five con­ver­sions, Dy­lan Pretorius, Cham Zon­deki, Rhyn­hardt Jonker, Co­nan le Fleur and Cele scored tries for the Sharks.

Diego Ap­po­lis scored two tries for the Bulls and Ul­rich Maritz, Zach Briel and Jaco Labuschagne one each. Maritz kicked four con­ver­sions.

SWD put up their hands to be in the mix in the big fix­tures later in the week, by beat­ing a highly-fan­cied East­ern Prov­ince side 27-22 in an en­ter­tain­ing cur­tain-raiser to the Bulls v Sharks game. They scored five tries and led 19-10 at the break. EP crossed the try­line three times them­selves, but they were al­ways chas­ing the game and they couldn’t match SWD for power up front in the end.

The SWD tries were scored by Dian Bleuler (two), Hanu He­u­nis and Curt­ley Scheep­ers. JC Nel slot­ted two penal­ties. Rod­will Baaitjies, Juan­dre Slab­bert and Waqar So­laan dot­ted down for EP, with Dy­lan Le Roux adding two con­ver­sions.

The Sharks and SWD will prob­a­bly meet to­mor­row, with the win­ner there hav­ing an inside track to Satur­day’s main game.

A bit of his­tory was made in the SWD v EP game when Aimee Bar­rett-Theron be­came the first woman to ref­eree a game at the Craven Week.

Bar­rett is an ex-in­ter­na­tional player and she will be one of the ref­er­ees at the Women’s World Cup next month.

In the pick of to­day’s ac­tion, the Golden Lions take on Western Prov­ince in the last game of the day, with Free State meet­ing the Pu­mas in the cur­tain-raiser.

The win­ners there will, in all like­li­hood, have booked their spot in Satur­day’s main game.

RE­SULTS Coca-Cola Craven Week: Namibia 52 Valke 36, Leop­ards 72 Zim­babwe 17, Gri­quas 42 E Prov­ince Coun­try 20, SWD 27 East­ern Prov­ince 22, Sharks 53 Blue Bulls 33

Coca-Cola Academy Week: Golden Lions XV 62 Zim­babwe 14, Blue Valke 51 Bor­der Coun­try 12, SA LSEN Schools 57 Grif­fons Coun­try 36, Namibia 16 Pu­mas Coun­try 15, Bor­der 35 Leop­ards 15, Blue Bulls 27 Free State 22, Pu­mas 23 Golden Lions 20 TO­DAY’S FIX­TURES Coca-Cola Craven Week: Grif­fons v Bor­der Coun­try, Boland v Gri­quas, Bor­der v Lim­popo Blue Bulls, Free State v Pu­mas, Golden Lions v Western Prov­ince

Coca-Cola Academy Week: Lim­popo Blue Bulls v Gri­quas Coun­try, Gri­quas v Sharks Coun­try, E Prov­ince v SWD, E Prov­ince Coun­try v Valke Blue, W Prov­ince v Sharks

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