Sharks XV tough it out against Namibia
The Sharks XV were made to work hard for a 25-5 (halftime 15-5) victory over the Namibia Welwitschias in a Vodacom Cup match played at the Hage Geingob stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.
It was a much-improved performance from the home side, who lost 47-12 to the EP Kings in the opening round last week.
For the Sharks XV, however, this hard-fought victory away from home sets them up nicely for the tournament after an equally impressive win over the champion Blue Bulls in round one.
The Sharks XV must have sent a chill down the spine of the 4 000 spectators that had come to watch their team on a cool and rainy afternoon when fullback Kobus de Kock, who scored a brace against the Blue Bulls, crashed over in the opening minute.
But the home side responded 12 minutes later when blindside flanker Morné Blom crossed the line to level matters.
Sharks XV scrumhalf Ross Cronjé kicked a 19th-minute penalty to make it 8-5 before right winger Sbura Sithole dived over four minute before the break for Cronjé to covert and open up a 10-point lead.
It’s often said that good teams have a knack of scoring either side of the halftime break, and the Sharks pulled off the double blow in style when No 8 Marcell Coetzee followed up Sithole’s earlier effort by scoring his team’s third try in the 43rd minute.
The Welwitschias gave as good as they got in the tight exchanges and kept the Sharks XV scoreless until De Kock had the final say 14 minutes from time, as he dotted down to make it 25-5 and give his team the perfect start to their campaign.
Welwitschias 5 – Try: Morné Blom.
Sharks XV 25 – Tries: Kobus de Kock (2), Sbura Sithole, Marcell Coetzee. Conversion: Ross Cronjé. Penalty: Ross Cronjé.