5 Reasons why Sharks are flying the flag for the South African game
DURBAN – There is no Super Rugby at the moment, but the Sharks have brought a lot of smiles to the faces of all South Africans. Mike Greenaway picks his five favourite moments from the Sharks’ campaign so far.
Mapimpi’s selfless act
Some have said it was irresponsible for Makazole Mapimpi to pass the ball to Curwin Bosch after he had crossed the tryline in the Sharks’ win over the Rebels in Melbourne. Possibly, but I think it summed up the camaraderie in this team.
Mapimpi had already scored two tries and the hat-trick was his... but he chose to give the dot-down to the player who had initiated the movement.
The Sharks are a happy team, and this moment highlighted it.
Nohamba... no problem
Just on 20 minutes into the Sharks’ match against the Hurricanes, flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain left the field concussed, presenting the team with a potential problem given that there wasn’t a flyhalf on the bench - Bosch had gone home for a family bereavement. On came (scrumhalf) Sanele Nohamba and with his first touch of the ball he nonchalantly broke the line.
The Sharks nearly won the game with Nohamba at flyhalf, showcasing just how talented a youngster is.
A try out of thin air
The Sharks opened their season with an epic arm wrestle with the Bulls at Jonsson Kings Park. In the suffocating humidity, the game was in the balance until a game-changing moment from Sbu Nkosi. A kick to the corner by Bosch appeared to be heading into touch - certainly defending Bulls wing Rosko Specman thought so, as he abandoned attempting to field it - only for a leaping Nkosi to acrobatically pluck the ball from the air and miraculously ground it at the corner flag.
Bosch’s breathtaking boot
The much-anticipated match between the Sharks and Stormers in Durban seemed to be sticking to the historic narrative of recent years that had the visiting underdogs in these encounters snatching the win. This was when the Cape side went 16-15 up with a quarter of the game to go. The Stormers’ heads were up and the Sharks could have panicked had it not been for an exceptional penalty by Bosch.
Well inside his own half and from an acute angle, he kicked the Sharks back into the lead.
That was the catalyst for a barn-storming finish to the game from the Sharks.
Nche’s impersonation of a flyhalf
Also in the Stormers’ match against the Sharks, the home team were pushing hard to seize the initiative before the halftime break, but couldn’t break down the away side’s defence - until a surprisingly deft, sweeping pass by loosehead prop Ox Nche to Andre Esterhuizen. The reason the two were in proximity to each other was because the Sharks had been through 20 phases and the players were spread-eagled all over the show.
No problem for the former Cheetah as he cut out defenders by spinning the ball out wide for Esterhuizen to crash over in the corner.