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It wasn’t pretty, but Sharks grind past Jaguares

Super Rugby

DURBAN – The Sharks clinched a fifth win of the season as they ground out an 18-13 Super Rugby victory over the Jaguares at Kings Park on Saturday.

In the end it wasn’t pretty as both teams made a host of handling errors, but ultimately the Sharks came away with a crucial result that takes them ahead of the Jaguares in the Africa 2 conference.

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Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach dives over for the first try against the Jaguares on Saturday. Photo: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

The highlight of the first half came within the opening five minutes as Cobus Reinach produced an impressive piece of solo play as he ripped the ball away in a tackle before sprinting some 60 metres to score in the corner.

Although that handed the hosts the early ascendancy, the Jaguares worked their way back into the clash, while the Sharks’ discipline let them down as they conceded five penalties within the opening quarter.

They were made to pay as Nicolas Sanchez slotted his first two shots at goal, but he uncharacteristically missed two relatively simple attempts after that, which allowed the Sharks to remain very much in the game.

A penalty by Curwin Bosch before the break in fact enabled the Sharks to take a two-point lead into the interval, but the fullback was guilty of a missed opportunity right at the end of the half as he lost the ball forward with the tryline at his mercy.

Nevertheless, the Sharks made the perfect start to the second half as big centre André Esterhuizen barged over to score next to the posts, with the subsequent conversion opening up a handy 15-6 lead.

The Sharks then had an opportunity to drive their advantage home when Sanchez was sent to the sin bin for cynical play just before the hour mark.

However, even with a one-man disadvantage, the Jaguares were next to score as Agustin Creevy dotted down to reduce the deficit to just two points.

However, Bosch slotted one more crucial penalty before fulltime as the Sharks held on for a result that sees them return to winning ways after last weekend’s disappointing loss to the Lions.

Points-Scorers

Sharks 18 – Tries: Cobus Reinach, André Esterhuizen. Conversion: Curwin Bosch (1). Penalties: Bosch (2).

Jaguares 13 – Try: Agustin Creevy. Conversion: Felipe Ezcurra (1). Penalties: Nicolas Sanchez (2).

African News Agency (ANA)

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