Sharks too good for FS Cheetahs in Bloem Currie Cup humdinger
Share this article:
DURBAN – It may have been played in Bloemfontein rather than Cape Town but this Currie Cup match between the Sharks and the Cheetahs was an entertaining curtain-raiser to the big Springbok Test match.
The Sharks prevailed 47-30 in a try-fest that takes the Durbanites to the top of the Currie Cup log with the competition now at the halfway mark.
Prior to the kick-off, Sharks coach Sean Everitt said that his team was amped to deliver a performance that would put a smile on the faces of KZN after the looting drama that beset the province and also resulted in two home games for the Sharks being cancelled, and boy did the Sharks deliver.
They scored five exhilarating tries in raising cheer among their supporters but the Cheetahs also came to the party, scoring some gems of their own, including a brace by discarded Bok Rosko Specman, who made a statement of note.
In fact, the dreadlocked winger opened the scoring not long after kick-off and then deep in the second half, when the Sharks seemed to be over the hill and far away, he popped up to score a brilliant try to spark a Cheetahs fightback.
That made the score 34-30 to the Sharks with 15 minutes to go but the visitors simply rolled with the punch and then struck back powerfully with a flurry of points to end up convincing winners.
The Sharks led 24-11 at halftime after a pulsating first half that included a rare yellow card for Cheetahs captain Ruan Pienaar, who was caught deliberately straying off side at a maul to slow down the Sharks’ ball.
It was the Sharks’ first match since their double-header against the British and Irish Lions and Everitt had challenged his players to learn from the high intensity of the tourists and reproduce that pace against the Cheetahs.
They more than delivered, with captain Phepsi Buthelezi in the vanguard and former Blitzboks star Werner Kok again making his effervescent mark.
The Cheetahs had beaten Western Province midweek and they are to be commended for fronting up just three days later, with bully boy flank Juandre Rudolph once more making a nuisance of himself.
Cheetahs: 30 – Tries: Rosko Specman (2), Brandon Thomson, Duncan Saal. Penalties: Ruan Pienaar, Thomson Conversions: Pienaar, Fortuin.
Sharks: 47 – Tries: Werner Kok, Grant Williams (2), Anthony Volmink, Kerron van Vuuren Conversions: Curwin Bosch (5). Penalties: Bosch (4)