Sun, 13 Jun 2021

The Sharks made it two from two after beating the Lions 34-26 (half-time 24-12) in their Rainbow Cup SA clash at Kings Park on Saturday.

At best, it was a collective and workmanlike effort from the Sharks, who for a second consecutive week are getting the best out of their not so big, but very combative pack.

It was a well-deserved success and one that'll be buoyed by Siya Kolisi showing good signs in his work-rate and linking play.

The Sharks were a class above and through Curwin Bosch's unerring boot kept a game Lions side at bay and consigned them to a second consecutive defeat.

The records will show the Sharks took a 24-12 half-time lead, but the Lions would have been upset at how they let the hosts dominate proceedings.

The Sharks got off the mark in the third minute when Jeremy Ward exploited space on the blindside after a Sharks rolling maul sucked in the Lions defence.

It was also the rolling maul that allowed the Lions to get their first try in the seventh minute through hooker PJ Botha as it became clear that brawn was going to dominate over brain.

With the smaller, but more nimble pack, the Sharks kept the Lions' fringe defence busy. The Sharks' offload game and quick recycling was too much for the Lions, with Grant Williams's and Thomas du Toit's tries in the 17th and 30th minutes being the recipients of this smart work.

That meant the Sharks took a 21-5 lead, but the Lions were robbed in the 34th minute as Bosch's penalty was taken past the 80-second shot clock.

That said, they took seven points off the Sharks when a swift breakaway saw Andre Warner crossing the whitewash in the 38th minute.

A 10-minute period of dominance from the Lions saw Du Toit and hooker Fezokuhle Mbatha yellow-carded for ruck infringements in the 43rd and 45th minutes, respectively.

Such was their inaccuracy, they had little to show for their efforts as the Sharks added to their lead with a 51st minute Bosch penalty.

The Lions finally crossed the try line through loose-forward Francke Horn in the 55th minute, but the numbers advantage wasn't fully utilised.

The hosts then made the Lions fully pay for their profligacy three minutes later when replacement hooker Kerron van Vuuren crashed over from a rolling maul.

Like most South African derbies, the game fizzled away badly in the last 10 minutes and while the Lions got their bonus point try through the tireless Vincent Tshituka, the Sharks had more than done the business.

Scorers:

Sharks 34 (24)

Tries: Jeremy Ward, Grant Williams, Thomas du Toit, Kerron van Vuuren

Conversions: Curwin Bosch (4)

Penalty: Bosch (2)

Lions 26 (12)

Tries: PJ Botha, Andre Warner, Francke Horn, Vincent Tshituka

Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (3)

Source: News24

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