Sharks XV canter to victory in Margate
The Sharks XV made it three from three in the Vodacom Cup with a 67-26 (halftime 31-12) win over the battling Valke at the Ugu Sports Centre in the South Coast town of Margate on Saturday.
The Sharks scored five tries in the first half and another six after the break to overshadow their opponents in every department and consign the East Rand outfit to their third straight defeat in the competition.
The Valke, coming off a massive 86-14 loss to Western Province last week, just could not contain what looks like a team capable of winning the title -- although it is still early days.
Right wing Piet Lindeque, drafted into the team following the call-up of Mark Richards to the Sharks’ overseas Super Rugby effort, made full use of the opportunity, running in two tries in an energetic display.
Replacement loose forward Lee Thompson, too, made hay while the late summer sun shone on the 3 000 spectators who had come to the ground, situated about 130 kilometres south of Durban.
Thompson replaced Nic Claasen in the ninth minute and ended up not only having a blinder but also scoring two tries in the process.
The Sharks XV had the game won by the break, when they led by 19 points, but they piled on the agony in the second half nonetheless.
The Valke, it must be said, never gave up and well rewarded with a bonus point for breaching the Sharks’ defence on four occasions -- twice in each half.
Sharks XV 67 – Tries: Piet Lindeque (2), Howard Mnisi, Kobus de Kock, Lee Thompson (2), Daniel Ojiambo, Jerome Pretorius, Kyle Cooper, Ross Cronjé, Cobus Reinach. Conversions: Guy Cronjé (3), De Kock (3).
Valke 26 – Tries: Kyle Hendricks, Jaco Snyman, Arno Poley, Coert Cronjé. Conversions: Dewald Nel (3).