Sharks thump Pumas
The Sharks completed their preparations for Super Rugby with a comprehensive 50-19 thrashing of the Pumas at the Kanyamazane Stadium on Friday.
The Sharks said on their website that the Pumas had provided strong resistance for much of the game, although the Sharks had succeeded with eight tries.
The Sharks got off to a good start, with two early tries, one of which was converted, but the competitive Pumas put paid to any thought of the Sharks running away with the match with a converted try of their own.
The two teams traded further tries with The Sharks holding out against a committed Pumas team who certainly gave the visitors a tougher contest than they had the week before, when they beat the Leopards 71-8.
At 19-14, the game was still tight before The Sharks added two further tries to take a strong 31-14 lead. Changes were made en-mass to rotate personnel and give everyone some game time.
The game started to open up as The Sharks pedigree came through, and like last week, there were plenty of second half tries as The Sharks managed to pass the half-century mark. The Pumas scored a consolation try in the dying moments of the game, but aside from an early flurry and the last gasp score, it was The Sharks all the way.
"It was a step-up from last week which is exactly what I wanted," said coach John Plumtree after the game. He confirmed that tehre were no injuries.
Pumas: 15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Dewald Pretorius, 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 Tiaan Marx, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Doppies le Roux, 7 RW Kember, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Eduan van der Walt, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 Ivann Espag, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Vincent Koch.
Replacements: 16 Frank Hearne, 17 Drew van Coller, 18 De Jay Terblanche, 19 Corné Fourie, 20 Boela Serfontein, 21 Yaya Hartzenberg, 22 Reynier van Rooyen, 23 Coenie van Wyk, 24 Danwel Demas.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Francois Steyn (captain), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Meyer Bosman, 23 Odwa Ndungane, 24 Riaan Viljoen
Referee: Craig Joubert