Sharks' Thaakir Abrahams is tackled during their United Rugby Championshop game against Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Craig Watson/INPHO/Shutterstock
Sharks' Thaakir Abrahams is tackled during their United Rugby Championshop game against Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Craig Watson/INPHO/Shutterstock

Brave Sharks show improvement in URC loss to Glasgow Warriors

By Mike Greenaway Time of article published Oct 2, 2021

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Durban – The Sharks staged a brave second-half comeback in Glasgow in their second outing in the United Rugby Championship but ultimately the Warriors prevailed 35-24 in a defeat for the Durbanites that was a significant improvement on their 42-17 loss to Munster the week before.

To their credit, the Sharks rallied from a nightmare opening quarter to make a strong fist of the game — they “won” the second half 14-7 — but they are going to have to learn quickly that it is almost impossible to play catch-up against these quality northern hemisphere teams, all of whom start emphatically.

The Sharks could hardly have had a worse start when from the kick-off, Glasgow surged up field and a few phases later flyhalf Ross Thompson had scored under the crossbar, with just 90 seconds on the clock.

The Sharks did well to fight back and earn a penalty in the Glasgow 22 but, like last week against Munster, Curwin Bosch fluffed an early kick that he would have nailed with his eyes closed at Jonsson Kings Park.

It got immediately worse for the Sharks when the Warriors scored their second, again between the sticks, when their forwards rumbled over with the defending Sharks’ pack a man down because Dylan Richardson had just been yellow carded for deliberate offside at a ruck, and they were 14-0 down after as many minutes.

As the game hit the 20-minute mark, Glasgow had their third try when prop Jamie Bhatti scored from a lineout drive. The pressure on the Sharks’ line had originated when Bosch was caught holding on near his line and the penalty was kicked to the corner. At 21-0, Glasgow were scoring at a point a minute.

The Sharks are a team that never give up and their forwards were rewarded for solid pressure on the Glasgow line when Le Roux Roets was propelled over in a forward rush. But five minutes before half time, fullback Cole Forbes rounded off a lovely Glasgow build-up to score his team’s fourth and bonus-point try.

As half-time sounded, Bosch kicked a penalty but at 28-10, the Sharks were in trouble.

And that trouble deepened two minutes into the new half when Forbes chipped over three defenders, gathered and scored his second, and the conversion made it 35-10.

Strangely, the Sharks then elected to go for goal when 25 points down, and to add insult to an odd decision, Bosch pushed the kick wide.

The flood gates almost opened 10 minutes into the half when the Glasgow backs ran beautifully from the halfway line and it was outside centre Sione Tuipolotu that cruised to the posts but the try was disallowed because earlier in the move Tuipolotu had obstructed Richardson.

That let-off gave the Sharks a lift and they scored next when one of their better organised attacks on the night saw Thomas “The Tank” du Toit roll over.

Seven minutes from the end, there was more reward for the ever-improving Sharks when Glasgow forward Lewis Bean was forced into deliberately infringing to stop a maul and was yellow-carded, and from the ensuing pressure, substitute prop Ntuthuko Mchunu charged over.

Scorers

Glasgow – 35: Tries: Ross Thompson, Jack Dempsey, Jamie Bhatti, Cole Forbes (2), Sione Tuipolotu. Conversions: Thompson (5)

Sharks – 24: Tries: Le Roux Roets. Thomas du Toit, Ntuthuko Mchunu. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2), Ruan Pienaar. Penalty: Bosch.

@MikeGreenaway67

IOL Sport

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