DURBAN – A two-try blitz just before the halftime break saw the Sharks take the game away from the Western Force to register a 37-12 Super Rugby victory at Kings Park on Saturday.
It was another important four log points for the Sharks after last week’s character-filled triumph over the Jaguares in
The Sharks kicked two early penalties through star flyhalf Curwin Bosch, but battled to turn their dominance into a significant advantage in the first half-hour.
In fact, it was the Force who stunned the home crowd by going into the lead in the 26th minute when wing James Verity-Amm – who grew up in the
The home side were denied tries either side of the Force touchdown, though.
Debutant wing Sbu Nkosi called back after Bosch knocked-on in the build-up, while Jean-Luc du Preez’s effort was also in vain due to a “truck and trailer” at a maul.
The turning point for coach Robert du Preez and his team came three minutes before the break when centre Curtis Rona was yellow-carded for the Force’s repeated infringements as he went offside inside the 22, and Sharks No 12 Jeremy Ward barged his way over following a lineout drive.
Two minutes later, midfielder Lukhanyo Am showed his class by dancing through the Force defence, slipping in a grubber and regaining possession to put Jean-Luc du Preez away for a 20-7 halftime lead.
The industrious Ward was again involved in the third Sharks try when he brilliantly kicked the ball away from the touch-line and kept it in play, and Bosch also hacked it ahead and fell on it.
At 30-7 ahead with the final quarter to go, the Sharks would’ve been expected to drive home their advantage and secure a bonus point, but it was not to be.
With just over 10 minutes to go, another former Cape-based player in Marcel Brache got over the whitewash following a long pass from flyhalf Jono Lance.
Soon afterwards, Sharks outside centre Am gave his team renewed hope of a bonus point when he intercepted from Force hooker Heath Tessmann to score a fourth try, but despite a second yellow card to the Australians in the final seconds, the Durbanites couldn’t get a fifth five-pointer.
Sharks 37 – Tries: Jeremy Ward, Jean-Luc du Preez, Curwin Bosch, Lukhanyo Am. Conversions: Bosch (3), Patrick Lambie (1). Penalties: Bosch (3).
Force 12 – Tries: James Verity-Amm, Marcel Brache. Conversion: Ian Prior (1).African News Agency (ANA)