Sharks stay alive in Currie Cup with Griquas win

Ruhan Nel of Griquas on attack

The Shark kept their chances of reaching the Currie Cup play offs alive with a 20-45 bonus point victory over Griquas in Kimberley.

The Sharks needed to stay in touch with the Cheetahs who have also set their sights on qualifying for the play-offs and with the win it is likely that therace will be a close one.

Griquas stunned the visitors with an early intercept try Ruhan Nel who raced over untouched in the fifth minute of the match.

Stunned by the setback the Sharks tried valiantly to get back into the game, but Joe Pietersen missed the kick at goal when his team had their first real chance in the 15th minute of the match.

Two minutes later, Pietersen made it 7-3 with his first successful kick of the day.

Sustained pressure and some patience on attack eventually paid off for the visitors when Phillip van der Walt picked up a ball from the base of a scrum before off-loading to Cobus Reinach who dotted down on the 20th minute mark.

The second Sharks try was equally impressive and came in the 27th minute when Paul Jordaan split the Griquas defence before racing over the try-line.

Swart pulled back three points with a penalty while the Sharks were again placed under tremendous pressure at scrum time.

Leading 17-10, the visitors made it clear that they would not rest until they bag the bonus point and were halfway to their target when flank Francois Kleinhans powered his way over the line in the 34th minute.

Showing a great turn of pace centre Andre Esterhuizen scored the third try, three minutes from the break.

In what seems to be a trend this season, the Sharks again struggled to hit the ground running at the start of the second half and subsequently had to bide their time before replacement scrumhalf Michael Claassens scored the bonus-point try.

Pietersen knocked over the conversion and through the lightning fast reactions of wing Sibusiso Sithole, who latched on to an attempted grubber kick, the visiting side edged closer to the 50-point mark 10 minutes remaining in the match (45-10).

At that stage. Griquas enjoyed a one-man advantage in the backline after Jordaan was sent off for a deliberate knockdown.

The home side’s highlight of the match came in the 72nd minute when replacement Sandile Ngcobo scored a breakaway try from deep inside his own 22.

Nel scored his second try right at the death to restore some dignity to the scoreline after Ngcobo put a neat kick through.

Final score Griquas 20 (10) Sharks 45 (31)

Scorers

Griquas
Tries: Ruhan Nel (2), Sandile Ngcobo
Conversion: Clinton Swart
Penalty: Swart

Sharks
Tries: Cobus Reinach, Francois Kleinhans, Andre Esterhuizen, Paul Jordaan, Michael
Claassens, Sibusiso Sithole.
Conversions: Joe Pietersen (6)
Penalty: Joe Pietersen

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