Sharks book Currie Cup final against W.Province

The Sharks booked a place in the Currie Cup final against Western Province at Newlands when they beat the Cheetahs 33-22 at Kings Park in Durban.

Patrick Lambie scored 23 points including one of three tries for his side,
adding to scores by Jacques Botes and Heimar Williams.

The flyhalf also kicked four penalties and three conversions as the coastal
side ensured a repeat of last year’s final, although Cape Town will play host
in 2013.

Their opponents from Bloemfontein gave them a good go with three tries of their
own through Lappies Labuschagne, Johann Sadie and Schalk van der Merwe, but
were punished by the clinical hosts.

The Free Staters began with a bang by crossing the try-line inside three minutes
after the start when SP Marais clearance kick went horribly wrong and allowed
Philip van der Walt to pop a pass up to Labuschagne to score.

The Sharks hit back in the seventh minute when visiting captain Adriaan Strauss
conceded a penalty at the scrum, with Lambie sending over the three points.

Smit had a chance to restore the seven-point lead before the first quarter
mark when Wiehahn Herbst conceded a penalty for illegal binding at the scrum,
but the Cheetahs winger sent his effort wide.

Lambie returned the favour, though, and fluffed a straightforward chance when
Boom Prinsloo was off-side not long after.

The Sharks pivot did not make the same mistake twice, and after Prinsloo failed
to release in the tackle, he slotted over the penalty to cut the gap to one.

Two minutes before the interval, Lambie put the Sharks ahead when he collected
a quick ball from Charl McLeod and slipped inside through two tacklers on his
way to running in under the post.

With the siren looming, Strauss was penalised for another error, this time
for not rolling away right in front of his goal-line, allowing Lambie to extend
the lead to nine by the break.

Johan Goosen continued his comeback from a long injury layoff when he was introduced
after the interval and he scored the opening points of the second half with
a penalty conversion.

Botes, however, extended the lead for the hosts when he broke a few tackles
in the 51st minute to score on the right of the posts after Marcell Coetzee
carried strongly and provided the crucial pass for his fellow loose forward.

The Cheetahs were reduced to 14 men before the hour when scrumhalf Piet van
Zyl was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate trip on Marais.

Lambie then extended the lead in the 63rd minute after Van der Merwe was called
for collapsing the scrum, before the numbers levelled up again when Bismarck
du Plessis was yellow carded for stamping.

From the resulting scrum, the ball was quickly spun left with Robert Ebersohn
sending Sadie away to give the Cheetahs hope.

That optimism was quickly killed off when Williams was one of a number of players
free on the left to dart over to wrap up the win.

Even though Van der Merwe added a late score, it turned out to be only a consolation
as the Durbanites booked their ticket to Newlands next week.

Final Score Sharks 33 (16) Free State Cheetahs 22 (7)


Tries: Patrick Lambie, Jacques Botes, Heimar Williams
Conversions: Lambie (3)
Penalties: Lambie (4).

Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Lappies Labuschagne, Johann Sadie, Schalk van der Merwe
Conversions: Riaan Smit, Johan Goosen
Penalty: Goosen.

Match Officials
Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Referees: Rasta Rashivhenge, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Deon van Blommestein


The Sharks: SP Marais; Odwa Ndunga

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