Sharks feast on Leopards
The Sharks moved to the top of the Absa Currie Cup log with a comprehensive 51-6 victory over the Platinum Leopards at the Royal Bafokeng Palace Stadium on Friday night.
There was no resurgence from the Leopards and no late comeback as they did to run the Blue Bulls close. This was a game where the Sharks dominated from start to finish to score seven tries and leave the home side floundering.
Led by a rampant pack, carried forward by the momentum of Keegan Daniel and Willem Alberts, the Sharks ripped apart the Leopards defence almost at will and, unlike the Blue Bulls, kept the ball for long periods, showing patience to find the gaps to score.
Even a fabulous start for the home side, a penalty after 30 seconds to give them an early lead, wasn’t going to put the Sharks off their momentum. They struck back with their first foray into the opposition 22 metre area, as Daniel led the charge through a number of phases before the ball was spread wide for Lwazi Mvovo to go over in the corner.
Patrick Lambie had a quieter night by his own standards, but still contributed 10 points on the evening before letting Rory Kockott take over the duties in the second half.
The Sharks extended their lead with a perfect lineout drive move, where Patric Cilliers ended up over the line before Alberts took the lead further with a pick and drive around the fringe of the ruck with no defence to stop him.
Louis Ludik brought up the bonus point before half time as the Sharks used some excellent interplay between forwards and backs to eventually create the gap out wide, and the former Lion cut inside to go over unhindered.
If the Leopards thought their second half would be better, it was smacked down when Rory Kockott sniped around the fringe of a ruck to open the scoring and two Stefan Terblanche tries late in the match took the score past the half-century mark.
The Leopards came close through Walter Venter who crashed over late in the game, only for the final pass to be called forward.
Two Neill Jacobs penalties were their only reward for a night they, and the few thousand faithful would rather forget, while the Sharks headed back to Durban looking like the main title contenders to Western Province for this year’s trophy.
Sharks - Tries: Lwazi Mvovo, Patric Cilliers, Willem Alberts, Louis Ludik, Rory Kockott, Stefan Terblanche (2)
Conversions: Patrick Lambie (3), Rory Kockott (2)
Penalties: Patrick Lambie (2)
Platinum Leopards - Penalties: Neill Jacobs (2)