Clin­i­cal Sharks pun­ish waste­ful, care­less Bulls

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - VATA NGOB­ENI

THE Sharks ended the Blue Bulls un­beaten run in the Cur­rie Cup with this hard fought and well de­served vic­tory at Lof­tus Vers­feld last night.

The coastal men were well mea­sured in their ap­proach, feed­ing off the hosts’ er­rors and do­ing well to de­fend their line when un­der siege.

They cap­i­talised on the Bulls mis­take very early in the game with wing S’bu Nkosi can­ter­ing in af­ter his team se­cured a turnover in the op­po­si­tion’s half.

The Bulls struck back 10 min­utes later through a well-en­gi­neered try from cen­tre Burger Oden­daal who carved the Sharks de­fence with a per­fectly timed an­gled run. But they were quick to re­lin­quish the lead four min­utes later when Sharks hooker Franco Marais rum­bled over from a rolling maul.

As hard as the Bulls tried to rein the vis­i­tors in, the more they made mis­takes. Even though the Sharks did not make the best out of the manna from heaven, they went to half­time three points ahead.

Much of the home side’s er­rors stemmed from their over ea­ger­ness to get the ball through the hands but they failed at se­cur­ing dom­i­nance in the set-piece and the bat­tle for the ad­van­tage line.

Many of the Bulls’ promis­ing for­ays were brought to a halt by bad de­ci­sion mak­ing and some im­pres­sive de­fend­ing from the Sharks pack with Jac­ques Ver­meulen lead­ing the charge with his tire­less toil.

In the sec­ond half the Sharks came out with much more in­tent at at­tack­ing the op­po­si­tion line and they were duly re­warded when Lukhanyo Am ran a bril­liant line to dance through the Bulls de­fence and dot down an easy try.

The Bulls brought on fly­half Tony Jan­tjies to try get them points but as soon as Jan­tjies’ three poin­ter and a try by lock Ruben van Heer­den had brought them within three points of the Sharks, they cheaply sur­ren­dered their psy­cho­log­i­cal ad­van­tage through some poor de­fend­ing.

Three min­utes af­ter they had brought them­selves into the reck­on­ing, the Bulls al­lowed Garth April to gal­lop in for the vis­i­tor’s fourth try. He had re­ceived a well-timed in­side pass from re­place­ment fly­half Bernard Janse van Rens­burg to ex­tend the Sharks’ lead by eight points.

The Bulls could have snatched vic­tory from the jaws of de­feat in the last seven min­utes but their lack of com­po­sure and des­per­a­tion saw them forego an easy three points in front of the poles for a quick tap that was once again ex­tin­guished by the or­gan­ised and com­posed Sharks de­fence.

The win saw the Sharks go above the Bulls into sec­ond place and record their third suc­ces­sive vic­tory.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.