Sharks sneak win
The Sharks picked up their first win of the Currie Cup season on Friday as they battled past the Golden Lions, winning 33-25 at Kings Park in Durban.
The Sharks were somewhat lucky to go in at the break 20-17 in front after gifting the Golden Lions two intercept tries for winger Anthony Volmink.
But scores from Brynard Stander and Heimar Williams put the hosts in front as Butch James' two penalties to Elton Jantjies' one were vital.
The second stanza would see the Lions move back in front when flank Jaco Kriel scored after chipping over but James replied from the tee before Marnitz Boshoff had a try ruled out due to replacement prop CJ van der Linde taking out a man.
And in the end it was the Sharks' day as wing SP Marais crossed after claiming an intercept of his own with six minutes remaining, pushing the Sharks eight points clear until the end.
This was a the first victory for the new Sharks coaching staff of Brendan Venter, the director of rugby, Brad Macleod-Henderson and Sean Everitt.
At the start, Elton Jantjies kicked over the first points when Louis Ludik and Lubabalo Mtembu were called out by the referee for offside.
The hosts had a chance to hit straight back when flanker Kriel failed to roll away and James was on target from right in front.
The game burst into life in the eleventh minute when James' kick ahead was gathered by Boshoff almost on his try-line, with the full-back offloading to Volmink, who ran almost the length of the field for his first score.
Again the Sharks came straight back and fly-half James doubled their tally when centre Dylan des Fountain was punished for holding on.
But the home side were stung again inside the opening quarter as winger Volmink intercepted a pass from debutant Williams close to the halfway line to score under the post.
The tide turned when a clever pick up and drive by Stander at the base of the ruck handed the Sharks their first try after 22 minutes as they stayed in touch.
And they took the lead just after the half-hour when the Lions made a hash of a line-out on their line and the recycled ball eventually fell for Williams to score.
Three minutes before the break, the coastal side were reduced to fourteen men after a yellow card to Odwa Ndungane for a high tackle, although his team held on to their slender three-point lead at the interval.
Johann Ackermann's side claimed their third try eight minutes after the break when Kriel collected from Deon Helberg and expertly chipped and collected over Lwazi Mvovo to run in on the right.
James added another penalty, this time when Ruan Dreyer was called for obstruction, as the lead changed hands once again.
Boshoff was denied a fourth Lions try just after the hour after the television official Deon van Blommestein ruled that CJ van de Linde was in an obstructing position - the Sharks lead staying at just one point at that stage.
Jantjies and replacement Sharks fly-half Fred Zeilinga exchanged further penalties, before Marais intercepted on the right and ran in under the post to seal the win.
For The Sharks:
Tries: Stander, Williams, Marais
Con: James 2, Zeilinga
Pen: James 3, Zeilinga
For Golden Lions:
Tries: Volmink 2, Kriel
Con: Jantjies 2
Pen: Jantjies 2
Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 SP Marais, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Butch James, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Jacques Botes (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Jaco van Tonder
Golden Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Robert De Bruin, 12 Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Guy Cronje, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Lambert Groenewald, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Lionel Cronje, 22 Crysander Botha.
Referee: Ben Crouse