Sharks cruise past Canes
The Sharks made it two wins from two Super Rugby games with a convincing 27-9 victory over the Hurricanes at Kings Park on Saturday.
The scoreline probably doesn't tell the full tale of the Sharks' domination but they never looked like losing, leading from start to finish and outscoring their visitors two tries to none.
A try in each half - from Willem Alberts and Lwazi Mvovo - and 17 points from the boot of the outstanding Pat Lambie ensured the 2012 finalists cruised to victory.
The Sharks led 10-6 at half time having used their domination at scrum time and their impressive rolling maul to control proceedings.
An early penalty from Lambie and try off the back of a maul from Alberts gave the home side a healthy lead but the Hurricanes were able to stay in touch thanks to penalties from Beauden Barrett and Marty Banks, won slotted his effort from 55m out.
The Sharks' maul was the origin of another three points soon after the break as Lambie hit the target again, but the home side continued to give away cheap penalties at the breakdown and Barrett's second three-pointer meant the 'Canes were very much still in the game at 13-9 after 50 minutes.
The Sharks bench had an immediate impact as the hosts looked to press home their advantage with Lambie adding another penalty.
The Sharks' second try came just after the hour mark as Mvovo rushed up to intercept Barrett's pass before racing away to score. Lambie missed the conversion but at 21-9, the result was all but settled.
Curiously the Sharks preferred to kick two more penalties in the closing quarter rather than chase the bonus point which was within their reach given the one-sided nature of the contest.
Tries: Alberts, Mvovo
Pens: Lambie 4
Pens: Barrett 2, Banks
Yellow card: Hill
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 S'bura Sithole.
Hurricanes: 15 Marty Banks, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Hadleigh Parks, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 John Schwalger, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Adam Hill, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Alapati Leiua, 23 James Marshall.
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
Television match official: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)