Sharks advance to semi finals

July 20, 2014
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It was a nail bitter but the Cell C Sharks manage to secure their spot in the Vodacom Super Rugby semi-finals for next week by beating the Highlanders 31-27.

Cell C Sharks

Cell C Sharks

They started the match with power and precision and took an early lead of 10-0 with the power which the forwards provided. The Sharks had dominated the Highlanders in the scrum, lineouts in the early exchanges. I the Sharks were more clinical on attack they would have won this match with a comfortable margin.

The Sharks inability to finish and some bad defensive lapses in the game could have cost them a spot in next week’s semi-final against the Crusaders in Christchurch. If there is one thing Jake and his management team must get right for next week it will be their defensive structures.

Another worrying factor for the Sharks will be their decision making with ball in hand. They can simple not hand over ball against the top teams as the Highlanders showed with their try from a turnover in their own twenty two. Aimless kicking from the Sharks and especially Cobus Reinach gave the Highlanders the ammunition to counter and stay in the game.

The Sharks domination in the set pieces gave them the edge over the Highlanders and to secure the win.

The standout player was Jean Deysel and he had change the flow of the game for the sharks with his strong runs and titan like defence. His linking in attack gave the Sharks ball runners the opportunity to run hard at the gaps. I must have been a flip of the coin between him and Bismarck Du Plessis for the man of the match.

Bismarck was devastating and with Coetzee and Alberts were able to control the ball and give a platform for the Sharks.

One thing is for sure, the Sharks will have a game on against the Crusaders next week and will have to be clinical in all aspect of the game if they will want to advance to the final.

Scorers:

Sharks – Tries: Marcell Coetzee, Bismarck du Plessis, Tonderai Chavhanga. Conversions: Frans Steyn (2). Penalties: Steyn (4).
Highlanders – Tries: Malakai Fekitoa, Kane Hames, Phil Burleigh. Conversions: Lima Sopoaga (3). Penalties: Sopoaga (2).

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8 Comments

  1. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 3:46 am

    In general all the Boks played well in the team… defensive slips, handling errors, game-plan aside…

    Marcel is getting stronger and stronger and his pace to get back and tackle the beast Malakai before a certain try was awesome.

    BDP was his usual self the MOM.

    JDP still the best TH in the land.

    JPP great… again hasn’t lost any pace.

    Deysel was at his best…

    Two tries went begging in that final quarter which were inexcusable… Chavanga should have scored as with Deysel…

  2. avatar DavidS says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Bryce the scrum improved once jannie got subbed…

  3. avatar Bekke says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 9:17 am

    You wish! Jannie mauled his opponent completely. But cheating crusaders is another kettle of fish Saturday

  4. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Kick away possession and one dimensional attack not going passed centre, food for the Saders.
    Sharks will have to give up this conservative play, very Springbok like game plan, will not work against the smarts of the Saders.

    With so much talent wasted on the outside it is a disgrace.

    Please God not the Waratahs…

  5. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Sharks scrum was good from start to finish this is why I’m surprised there has not been more rotation… the 19 year old Du Toit is a monster JW leap-frogging him over Chadwick… going to be another JW’esque legend in the making me thinks…

    @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa:

    Nah Sharks got better in the second… those two fluffed tries would have been the nail in the coffin…

    And Waratahs have been unstoppable… Wallabies are going to be a force this year….

  6. avatar Timeo says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I take issue with the phrase “aimless kicking”.

    Very few, if any kicks are ever kicked without an aim in mind. What you are actually talking about is kicks that did not achieve their intended aim, due to poor execution or just stupidity.

    EG.
    The aim of Reinach’s box kick was to exit the Sharks from their 22.
    To achieve that aim the kick had to be out or very near to the touchline in the area of the half-way line. That would have enabled the Sharks to defend the attack outside their 22 because of limited options on the run-back.
    Instead the kick went infield which left wide space with few defenders towards the right and a try for the Highlanders.

    It was a Poor Kick or Stupid Kick, rather than an Aimless Kick.

  7. avatar Timeo says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    @Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa:

    The Sharks dominated all aspects of play from 1 to 10 and the Highlanders all aspects from 11 to 15. The Sharks won by a narrow margin.

    It follows then, that if the Sharks had managed to limit all aspects of the game to 1-10 rugby they would have won by a large margin. Conversely, had they opted for more 11-15 rugby they would have lost.

    The assignments for the week should be:
    Prepare your offence for more 1 to 10 rugby and your defence to deal with the Crusaders’ 11 to 15 response.

  8. avatar DavidS says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    “Aimless” is what people who are not knwoledgeable steal from the media because they do not understand how rugby’s tactical situations are prescribed by coaching structures and executed by players on the field in accordance with their required reactions to specific situations.

    It’s the same with “one dimensional”… I’ll tell you what is one dimensional… if the All Blacks are two points down in a match they WILL go for the try at all costs even when a perfect opportunity to win by drop goal presents itself. But kicking is one dimensional. Second of course is who are we to whinge at whine when players play in accordance with a very simple plan and it works…

    It’s like saying when a ballet is planned out it is one dimensional because all the girls do is twirl on their toes in accordance with orescribed roitines.

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