Sharks beat Province to win 2010 Currie Cup

The Natal Sharks convincingly took the Currie Cup title when they beat Western Province by 30 points to 10 in the final at Durban.

 

The star of the show by some measure was Patrick Lambie as he scored two tries and converted all three of the Sharks tries and added a penalty.

Together with Lambie’s 18 first-half points, scrumhalf Charl McLeod snatched another touchdown to round off the Sharks’ first-half 23 point burst to which Province replied with a mere goal and a penalty by the interval.


The Sharks triumph in the final prevented Province from making a clean sweep on ‘Finals’ day at the ‘Shark Tank’ after the Cape side picked up the Under-21 and Under-19 national crowns following victories against the Blue Bulls in the age-group finals.


The early exchange of penalties by Willem de Waal (Province) and Patrick Lambie (Sharks) probably helped to settle the nerves on both sides and the teams wasted no time in trying to impose themselves on the match (3-3).


A fifth minute line-out steal by Province set up their three-quarters to launch a penetrative sortie down the left channel and the Sharks’ defence was stretched to finally contain it in their 22-metre area where they secured a turn-over which changed the course of the match in dramatic fashion.


Sharks rightwing Lwazi Mvovo won the chase against the cover defence to gather an upfield kick before he laid on a scoring pass to send scrumhalf McLeod away for the opening try, after which Lambie added the conversion in the seventh minute (10-3).


The Province side hardly had time to catch their breath as the Sharks pounced in the ensuing minutes with telling consequences as Lambie ran in from 15 metres out for his side’s second converted try (17-3).


The two-try scoring burst allowed the Sharks to lift their game somewhat and they grabbed the initiative almost at will as their forwards led the charge but they were unable to breach the Province defence again as the game wound towards the halfway mark.


In an effort to keep the ball alive both teams frequently infringed and referee Craig Joubert awarded several penalties. The normally reliable Province place-kicker De Waal fluffed two attempts well within his range while Lambie fared far better by hitting the target twice (23-3).


To add to their woes, Province’s star centre Juan de Jongh was forced to retire from the action with an injury and his place in the midfield was taken by substitute Paul Bosch.


As the halftime approached Province showed great composure despite the multiple setbacks they suffered earlier. Their confidence was high enough to opt for a touch when they were awarded a penalty in front of the Sharks’ posts in the 37th minute.


The ploy paid off as Province pummelled their way over the tryline and, after a TV confirmation, Province skipper Schalk Burger was credited with the try. De Waal goaled the conversion to reduce the deficit for Province, moments before the sides changed ends with the Sharks enjoying a handsome 13-point lead (23-10).


When the teams returned for second-half action, Province showed a far greater sense of urgency and were able to pin down the Sharks in their own half for a 10-minute spell but their pressure failed to leave its mark.


During this passage of play, Province turned down three goalable penalties as they looked to use the resultant line-out platforms for try-scoring opportunities but their own handling shortcomings, rather than stout defence by the Sharks denied them an advance on the scoreboard.


Once the Sharks were able to shrug off Province’s grip on the match, the contest opened up somewhat but the most promising of movements broke down as one fumble after another crept into play.


As the match approached the hour mark, Province came within striking distance of the Sharks’ tryline as they did well to take the ball through the

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