‘TEAMOF CHOICE’ HOLDOFF UNITED
All still to play for in second leg semi-final in Maritzburg
Lucas Moripe Stadium
Lack of deadly finishing and accuracy in front of the goal was an Achilles heel for either sides.
Bradley Grobler was presented with a decent chance in the 34th minute following a sweet cross from Thuso Phala on the near side.
His header, though, didn’t trouble the keeper one bit as it went straight into Bongani Mpandle’s hands.
Four minutes before that attempt on goal, the “Team of Choice” had weaved a nice interplay from the halfway line pressing towards goal, but it was the finishing of Lebohang Maboe which left the away side disappointed as his shot went a whisker wide from the goalmouth.
Things, however, took a different turn in the second period of the match.
Tinkler’s men took early charge of it, scoring an early goal through Phala’s thunderbolt shot.
The left winger blasted the ball home after receiving a superb pass inside the box unmarked.
That goal helped Matsatsantsa a Pitori to settle down a bit.
Tinkler, who was pacing up and down quite often in the first half, could afford moments of sitting down every once in a while as the game proceeded.
Davids, on the other hand, was the exact opposition of Tinkler’s calm demeanour.
The Maritzburg coach was bellowing instructions onto the pitch each time his team were on or off the ball.
He was trying to get them back into the game, hoping that they would score an equaliser leading up to Saturday’ second leg encounter against the Tshwane side at Harry Gwala Stadium.
His never-say-die attitude helped his side to get back into it.
The team of Choice kept on pressing forward, trying to decipher a SuperSport side who were now playing defensively in an attempt to protect their lead.
And Maritzburg were able to do that.
Evan Rusike played a sweet pass to Maboe, who was in a good position to take a shot towards goal.
And when he did that, Ronwen Williams could only catch its shadow. THE Sharks won this intriguing Currie Cup match 21-20 at Newlands but for most of the second half it seemed that a combination of Western Province obstinacy on defence and poor finishing by the visitors would mean a home victory.
The Sharks were ultimately deserved winners but in a second half played almost entirely in WP territory, they seemed to be doing their best to self-destruct as they squandered opportunity after opportunity, with the score locked on 20-14 to Province until a dramatic try by Inny Radebe in the 75th minute was converted by a composed Rhyno Smith, who nailed the kick from the corner.
Province coach John Dobson will wonder why his team could not get out of their half after having had their fair share of dominance in a very even first half. The home side seemed resigned to defend for the second 40 while the Sharks hammered away and either made