Star act Sharks soar over Ea­gles


THE Kwazulu-Natal Sharks surely played them­selves into the 2017 Coca-Cola Craven Week’s pres­ti­gious fi­nal game with an em­phatic 65-26 win over SWD in the last game of the fourth day at St Stithi­ans yes­ter­day.

They have, with­out doubt, been the star act of the week so far, and should the hon­our of play­ing in the main game come their way, they will richly de­serve it.

If they do make it, it will be their first ap­pear­ance in the Craven Week’s main game since 1990.

SWD were up for yes­ter­day’s game and they scored a num­ber of good tries of their own, but the Sharks were just too strong in all facets of the game.

Their giant lock, JJ Van der Mescht had a big game, with eighth­man Pepsi Buthelezi also show­ing up all over the place.

The Sharks backs were sen­sa­tional, they scored a num­ber of long-range tries and showed pace and guile aplenty.

The Sharks got 10 tries in the end, two each from Thabiso Mdlet­she and Pepsi Buthelezi, and one each from Celmpilo Gumede, JJ Vd Mescht, Dy­lan Kruger, Nthutuko Mchunu, Njab­ula Mjara and Morne Van Rens­burg. Jade Hen­drikse kicked a penalty and four con­ver­sions and Sanele Mo­hamba two con­ver­sions.

The SWD tries were scored by JC Nel, SP Klein­hans, Ruben Coet­zee and Clyde Lewis. James Mol­lentze added three con­ver­sions.

The Blue Bulls’ dis­ap­point­ing run at the week con­tin­ued when they fol­lowed their 53-33 loss to the Sharks in their open­ing en­counter with a 37-0 de­feat at the hands of Eastern Prov­ince yes­ter­day.

That’s a record Craven Week loss for the Bulls, and it will prob­a­bly have con­demned them to an early game on one of the out­side fields on Satur­day.

EP were good value for their win.

They dom­i­nated the for­ward ex­changes and their ex­cit­ing backs ran the Bulls ragged. Be­van Prinsloo dot­ted down twice, with Juan­dre Sab­bat, Ayabonga Ma­troos, Le-Kleu Stokes and Rod­will Baaitjies.

Dy­lan le Roux kicked a penalty and two con­ver­sions.

To­day is a rest day at the week.

The fix­tures for to­mor­row were not fi­nalised at the time of go­ing to print, but the Sharks’ op­po­nents are likely to be either the hosts, the Golden Lions or Free State, who were em­phatic win­ners of both their ear­lier en­coun­ters.

West­ern Prov­ince, the un­of­fi­cial de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons must also still be in the run­ning for main game hon­ours.

So, the last two games on Satur­day will cer­tainly in­volve the Sharks, Lions, West­ern Prov­ince and Free State.

With all the teams hav­ing played twice now, four teams, Lim­popo Blue Bulls, Leop­ards, Free State and Gri­quas have won twice, with the Lions and West­ern Prov­ince win­ning one and draw­ing one.

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