Robert du Preez helped the Sharks to a big win on tour against the Blues. Photo: EPA

The Sharks at last lived up to their pedigree when they put an astonishing 63 points past the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday, although the Blues played their part in an entertaining Super Rugby spectacle by scoring 40 points of their own to take the game total to 103.

Each side scored six tries but the big difference on the scoreboard was that Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez went for posts each time his side was awarded a penalty and he nailed seven penalty goals plus six conversions for a staggering total of 38 points (he also scored a try).

He never missed a kick at posts and ran the game superbly for his team while his brother, flank Jean-Luc, had a stormer up front and was surely the Man of the Match.

The two teams went into the match having had just one win each in the competition and with confidence low ,but the Sharks quickly found their mojo after a flurry of early scoring. They never looked back even though they had a bad patch after half time when the Blues overturned a 19-point deficit to take a two-point lead at 28-26. The Blues’ dramatic comeback had coincided with the Sharks being down to 14 men after wing Sbu Nkosi had been yellow carded for a dangerous tackle.

But the Blue’s lead was short-lived and the last half an hour was mostly one-way traffic in favour of the Sharks.

At the start of the game, the Sharks raced into a 13-0 lead via a try by captain Ruan Botha and the boot of Du Preez

The Blues scored the try of the match when most of their team handled the ball before fullback Michael Collins finished.

But Jean-Luc scored after a fine break by centre Andre Esterhuizen and with his brother kicking another penalty, the Sharks were 26-7 ahead at half time.

Then came the Blues fightback, which was ended in the 56th minute when Sharks No 8 Tera Mtembu wrestled over following an excellent break by Kobus van Wyk.

Flyhalf du Preez then hit his straps, scoring a try and kicking a string of penalties.

The Sharks ended the game strongly through tries by Van Wyk and Curwin Bosch, plus more penalties by Du Preez, while there was a consolation tries for the Blues from centre Rieko Ioane.

Scorers

Sharks – Tries: Ruan Botha, Jean-Luc du Preez, Tera Mtembu, Rob du Preez, Kobus van Wyk, Curwin Bosch. Conversions: Rob du Preez (6). Penalties: Du Preez (7).

Blues – Tries: Michael Collins, Akira Ioane, Patrick Tuipulotu, Stephen Perofeta, Rieko Ioane, George Moala. Conversions: Stephen Perofeta (4), Bryn Gatland.

IOL Sport

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