Sharks take the spoils against Bulls

The Blue Bulls lost their first match in this season’s Currie Cup  competition as the Sharks ran out deserved 19-13 winners in Durban on Friday night in a match that saw the home side overshadow the visitors at breakdown and play the more direct rugby.


Even three yellow cards did not deter the Sharks.


The final result of the hard-fought forward battle was a single very good try by the Sharks which took the score to 19-6 and took the match away from the Blue Bulls who scored a minute after the final hooter to get a bonus point after the conversion by flyhalf Francois Brummer.


The result saw Griquas remain at the top of the log, with a match in hand.


Overall, the Sharks were good value for the win. They had more possession, and varied their play more than the Blue Bulls who drove up most of their possession until near the end of the match. The first half belonged to the home team.


They controlled the breakdowns, took it wide when possible and with Stefan Terblanche always prominent, often stretched the Blue Bulls’ defence.


The first half was not great fare for those who expected try after try, but it certainly was real confrontational stuff as the two packs hit into one another with the Blue Bulls opting for driving play rather than spinning it wide.


Jean Deysel was at the forefront of the Sharks’ effective drives in the tight-loose with Springbok Deon Carstens not far behind. And while they drove and Keegan Daniel foraged, the Bulls were on the back foot more often than not.


The Sharks were more than good value for their halftime 9-3 lead. They controlled the one threatening lineout maul by the Blue Bulls well, and turned around a number of balls on the ground.


Unsure handling when it counted, an injudicious kick or two and the yellow-carding of Albert van den Berg with his team in total control, which saw the cancellation of a try, helped the Blue Bulls to stay in contention


Van den Berg struck an opponent with an elbow some 40 metres back in a move that saw Monty Dumont go over next to the posts – to no avail.


Up front Jacques Burger was good on the drive and always on hand to take it further. And it was his drive that saw that Jacques Botes being yellow-carded for a side entry shoulder-charge.


The Blue Bulls, with reserves aplenty on the field and taking four Sharks lineouts to the one own throw they conceded, suddenly and briefly looked more dangerous halfway in the third quarter, but didn’t capitalise when on the attack and gave the Sharks the opportunity to come back.


They had the better of the next 20 minutes and Rory Kockott, who did some good things and some average, stretched the lead to 12-3 after 68 minutes – with no side having come close to scoring a try if the disallowed effort by Dumont is discounted.


But just two minutes later Skipper Badenhorst, after some great interplay where Daniel and Odwa were prominent, went over and with the successful conversion it became a 13-point lead for the Sharks at 19-6.


A third yellow-card a minute later to Badenhorst didn’t help the Bulls who had to score two goals in seven minutes to win the match. But a promising drive from a lineout saw a penalty awarded to the Sharks three metres from their own line, and that was the ball game.


Right on time, following a series of good rucks and mauls, Blue Bulls’ Dewald Potgieter scored next to the posts for Brummer to convert and get a single point for the Blue Bulls from the match.


Final Score Sharks 19 Blue Bulls 13


Scorers:


Sharks:
Try: Skipper Bandenhorst.
Conversion: Rory Kockott.
Penalties: Kockott (3),
Drop goal: Riaan Swanepoel.


Blue Bulls:
Try: Dewald Potgieter.
Conversion: Francois

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