SR: Sharks 18, Highlanders 34


imagesThe Sharks have made no secret of the fact that they want their home ground to be a fortress.

In fact that has been a trademark of all Jake White-coached teams. They may not produce the most aesthetically pleasing rugby, but they win and get into play-offs. And with their Australasian tour just over a week away – this being their last home game for over a month – victory on Saturday is more important that at any stage this season if the Sharks are to retain that No.1 ranking through to the play-offs in July.

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White said the challenge for his team is to focus on getting a result against the Highlanders and not look past Friday’s outing. “We go away [on tour] the next day, it’s our last home game for a long while and we have to keep the momentum going, whether it’s the Highlanders here or the Rebels [in Melbourne] the following week,” White said.

The 2007 World Cup-winning former Springbok coach, White, said he was expecting a typical South Africa-versus-New Zealand encounter – a brutal battle. “New Zealand teams are always strong,” he said, adding: “They [the Highlanders] are a good team, they have some good players, Ben Smith and Aaron Smith are probably the two form players in New Zealand, and have been for the last couple of seasons, not just this year.”
The Highlanders arrived in Durban this fresh off a bye and on the back of back-to-back victories. “There are two ways of looking at it: One, you’re rusty because you didn’t play the week before, or two, you’ve had two weeks to prepare yourself and freshen up mentally,” White said. “I don’t think you can ever work out in theory if you have a rest you’re better, or you lose your momentum.

“The challenge for us is to focus on getting a result.” The Highlanders finished last year second from bottom on the standings with just three wins. This year they already have one more win and they still have nine games to play.

“There is no doubt that this year they are way better than they were last year,” White admitted.

Recent results:
2013: Highlanders won 25-22, Dunedin
2012: Sharks won 28-16, Durban
2010: Sharks won 30-16, Dunedin
2009: Sharks won 23-15, Durban
2008: Sharks won 19-17, Dunedin
2007: Sharks won 23-16, Durban


Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Ryan Kankowski, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 SP Marais.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 John Hardie..

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry, Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Ref not given try thank you Peyper……he goes back for a penalty to the Sharks…..he is judging that in a ruck he the Sharks player took a man out …..another stupid decision from old Peyper…

    Meanwhile Sharks slots penalty and score is 3-3

  2. Highlanders exploring the Sharks defence and getting over it but then they kick it away….Sharks kick down field and take off the ball but spoil it with another knock on from a bad pass….

    Sharks gets the penalty and Swiel is going for points again….

    He missed and score stays 3-3

  3. TRY!!!!! Highlanders as Sharks kick into field and no one following up…normal sickness of SA teams to kick if nothing is on…..

    Highlanders came back and with a kick through Buckmann score for Highlanders

    Score: Highlanders 10 Sharks 6

  4. Mvovo again not kicking out and Ben Smith comes back at them…..Scrum Highlanders just outside Sharks 22…..

    Some nice straight running from Highlanders but lose the ball in the ruck and Sharks gets a scrum outside their 22

  5. Steyn kicks out directly and Highlanders attack from Highlanders with them getting a scrum 5 meters out……

    From great scrum Highlanders goes down the line and Smith squeeze through the defence of the sharks to score under the poles

    Highlanders lead now 17-9

  6. Highlanders with penalty and kick out for lineout 5 meters from Sharks line…….

    From the lineout…..they maul….and scored as Sharks defence get demolish with the ruck……

    third try for Highlanders already and they extend the lead to 24-9

  7. Sharks mess up another good attacking opportunity and Highlanders kick down field for lineout in Sharks half…..

    Sharks attack but Mvovo get penalised for holding on to the ball

  8. Swiel gets a penalty on the stroke of halftime….

    Halftime score: Highlanders 24 Sharks 12

    This is a first half Sharks will want to forget and start all over in the second….their commitment in the general play was poor….they are missing crucial tackles and handling is nowhere up to par……they doing schoolboy mistakes and need to come out a different team….

  9. Sharks trying a maul and lose the ball not starting that good for them in the second half as well….

    Highlanders kick down field and Sharks start attack down field and gets a penalty for off sides…..Swiel going for poles again…..


    Highlanders lead 24-15

  10. Sharks kick down field and have lineout in Highlanders half…..

    Sharks try a maul and lose the ball as Coetzee losing the ball and Highlanders kick down field which Mvovo knocking the ball on and Highlanders again in Sharks half

  11. Sharks again with a knock from high kick this time SP knocking the ball and Highlanders on attack now with scrum 5 meters out……

    From scrum Highlanders attack and lose the ball…almost over the line

  12. Steyn kicks down into Highlanders 22 after another penalty …….

    Sharks maul…….and move it out to the backs……Pietersen can not hold on to the ball and give away a penalty again while they on attack…another change for points gone begging….

  13. Highlanders with a n up and under…..Sharks attack again and kick down field……Highlanders return the kick and this time Daniels knock on the ball on attack….crazy how bad the Sharks is on attack due to handling errors

  14. Sharks give penalty away in lineout and Highlanders kick own field for attacking lineout…..

    Another penalty Highlanders for off sides and they go for points…..


    Highlanders lead 27-18

  15. Again no Shark goes for High ball and lose it to the Highlanders….Sharks start attack from own half and kick again…..

    Highlanders kick down field and SP kick out but not good still in Sharks 22…..

    Highlanders attack and gets closer but lose the ball and sharks kick down field and Malakai Fekitoa runs through almost through whole Sharks team and SCORE!!!!

    Highlanders lead 34-18 and that is their bonus point try

  16. Highlanders with scrum and gets free kick for early engage….highlanders kick down field and Sharks return the kick and we have a lineout in Highlanders half….

    Highlanders on attack again….and kick down field….Mvovo try attacking Highlander turn over another ball and kicks for field position

  17. Penalty Sharks in their own 22….Steyn kicks down field for lineout….

    Sharks attack and again kick away attacking ball….just plain stupid rugby from them……with 3 min left

  18. Sharks on attack and again a knock on by them and the highlanders on the ball and kick down field for lineout again inside Sharks half…..

    From lineout Sharks goes down line and work their way through to Highlanders half……penalty Sharks…..and they take it quickly…….and Pietersen knocks the ball again ….Is this South African best team???

  19. I said it last week that this Sharks team cannot score tries and that they kick and hope that the other team makes mistakes which they can score off…..

    I was called a “suurgat” but suurgat or not this Sharks team will never win this competition with this gameplan and I know because my useless wyn suipers team tried this before and failed…Jake the Snake is running out of options and they start their tour now…

    Will see who is “suurgat” after their 4 week tour……

    Sharks played like schoolboys tonight…the worse I saw them play in a long time….

  20. Waar is DUIWEL?
    Fok, nie een van ons spanne kan die game speel nie.

    :Rule 9:

    Dit gaan ‘n lang toer wees. Moenie enige oorwinnings
    verwag nie.

  21. @Boertjie: He is the man with the game plan…..forget the handling errors…how the hell do you kick the ball away the whole game when you 16 points behind?

    Coach players alike to blame for the shit they dish up for the past two weeks…..

  22. @Jacques(Bunny):

    I’m sure kicking balls away – also from a tighthead! –
    pisspoor passing and catching and missing tackles were
    not part of the gameplan.
    Did you listen to Mallett and co?

  23. @Boertjie: Yip Oom, you right…..but not too have a plan “B” seems the norm for SA teams and everyone hinds now suddenly behind their injuries, but team had the same impact in injuries like the Stormers and was it not the same team that who everybody said has the best backup?

    The past two weeks saw a cracks in the way this team play…blame the players yes….but coaching staff have the same blame if not more…..Swiel was shit from the start and should have been taken off and Frans should have been moved to 10 earlier…..nothing change from first half to second half…does that mean that Jake felt they have a winning plan?

    He said before the game they can not kick senseless to the back three of the Highlanders and throughout the 80 min nothing changes…..

    Sharks have bigger problems than many would admit or believe but watch this space….as it is gonna become a long tour and season for them….. 90 % of the games left to the Sharks are away from home and I see some uphill battles for them….

    Don’t get me wrong the Sharks have brilliant players and Jake should be able to get things right but me think this is going to be tough now

  24. i did not see the game, but do you mean to tell me the sharks fell behind and could not score tries to catch up?

    Thats extremely odd?