Lions get bitten by the Sharks in Currie Cup

The Sharks added more Currie Cup woe for the Lions when they beat the men from Johannesburg by 48 points to 19.


The Sharks, with their five tries and bonus point, remained just two points behind log leaders Western Province after the first five rounds.


Sharks junior Patrick Lambie, playing at flyhalf for the first time at this level and in his third position in five Currie Cup matches, scored 28 of the Sharks’ points and in the process added another try to last week’s two.


It was a deserved victory for the Sharks in a fast-paced and gruelling match that underlined the potential of the Lions on the attack but again emphasised that the game can only be played effectively with enough possession.


The Sharks on the other hand showed that they can run from all over, but should be a little concerned that two of their first four tries came from intercepts following poor play from the Lions rather than good attacking structure.


But then it cannot be denied that the pressure the Sharks exerted virtually throughout the match forced the Lions’ mistakes. The Sharks went into the break 18-16 ahead. The Lions, who had been under the cosh for most of the first 40 minutes, would have been happy with the scoreline.


Although they looked dangerous with ball in hand and tackled unbelievably well, the Sharks were mostly in control.


The Lions confined the Sharks to only two tries in the first 29 minutes despite having to make 64 tackles to only eight by the Sharks – and the Sharks will wonder about their ability to round off promising moves.


They were up by 62 to 19 in the rucks and mauls at the break and had 75per cent of the possession.


The scrums were initially a bit of a mess, but in this facet the visitors were slightly to the good in the first half, and the poor kick from Sharks captain Stefan Terblanche into the hands of the defending Lions winger Deon van Rensburg was a direct result of a dominant Lions scrum.


Both the Sharks’ first-half tries were the result of good work and solid building, with the first going to Patrick Lambie who broke inside Jano Vermaak after good building of phases.


The second went to centurion Jacques Botes after a half-break by fellow-loosie Keegan Daniel. Botes got his 100th Currie Cup cap when Jean Deyzel was taken off the field with an injury within the first five minutes.


The two young flyhalf prodigies Lambie and Elton Jantjies were both impressive on attack and in general play, and it was unfortunate when Jantjies’ long pass was intercepted by impressive winger Lwazi Mvovo for a try – his fifth of the season – under the posts nine minutes into the second half after the two youngsters had earlier traded penalties.


He added another nine minutes from time. That took the score to 28-19 – and when Craig Burden intercepted Vermaak’s pass from a ruck ball to make it 35-19 and provide the Sharks with their bonus point, it was all over for the gutsy Lions.


The Lions cause wasn’t helped by two successive penalties that didn’t find touch as they tried to chase the game.


Final score Sharks 48 Golden Lions 19

 

Scorers:

 

Sharks:
Tries: Patrick Lambie, Jacques Botes, Lwazi Mvovo (2), Craig Burden
Conversions: Lambie (4)
Penalties: Lambie (5)

 

Lions:
Tries: Deon van Rensburg.
Conversions: Elton Jantjies
Penalties: Jantjies (4)

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