Sharks forwards step up, Masuku runs Edinburgh ragged

SIYA Masuku of the Sharks was Player of the Match against Edinburgh yesterday. | BackpagePix

SIYA Masuku of the Sharks was Player of the Match against Edinburgh yesterday. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 14, 2024


THE Sharks powered into the European Challenge Cup semi-finals with a 36-30 comeback win over Edinburgh at Kings Park in Durban yesterday. The forwards stepped up in the second half and gave the side brilliant front-foot ball to pull away.

Independent Newspapers rate the performance of the Sharks players.

15. Aphelele Fassi (7.5/10): Responsible for the tackle that gave the Sharks a penalty after chasing down a good kick. His boot is worth gold.

14. Werner Kok (8): Good in the air, solid on defence and his engine never stops working. Almost scored a good try.

13. Lukhanyo Am (8.5): Looked sharp every time he touched the ball. Good support play for his try. He led the team well.

12. Ethan Hooker (7.5): Carried the ball strongly on the attack and made metres. Defensively solid and kept the opposition at bay.

11. Makazole Mapimpi (8.5): Deadly down the left wing and created a superb try when he kicked ahead. A fiery performance by the winger.

10. Siya Masuku (9): Not even that missed penalty could put him off his game. He ran, chipped, and passed the defensive line of Edinburgh drunk.

9. Jaden Hendrikse (7.5): Sent some speedy possession to his backs when they were on the front foot. Stuck his head into a few rucks too.

8. Phepsi Buthelezi (7): He made some strong carries with the ball under his arm. Put his body on the line to stop the Edinburgh carries.

7. Vincent Tshituka (8): Ever-present with his ball carries and made metres for his side. Tackled the big men of Edinburgh back time after time.

6. James Venter (6.5): A menace at the breakdown until he left the field early and tried to spoil the Edinburgh ball. On hand to score a good try.

5. Emile van Heerden (7): Commanding performance in the line-outs by the towering lock. Worked tirelessly on defence.

4. Eben Etzebeth (8): Massive in defence and a great try-saving tackle in the first half. Not even a yellow card could dampen his fire.

3. Vincent Koch (7): Strong scrummaging performance against Pierre Schoeman. Made some telling tackles on the Sharks try line.

2. Bongi Mbonambi (8): There is just no stopping his engine and he kept powering on until he left the field. Worked hard in the loose and scored a good try.

1. Ox Nche (8): His scrummaging was outstanding and WP Nel had no answer. Brilliant tackle-fight to get over the advantage line.


16. Dan Jooste (6): Kept the fire up after replacing Mbonambi.

17. Ntuthuko Mchunu (5): Conceded a penalty when he came on.

18. Hanro Jacobs (5): Kept the pressure up in the scrums.

19. Corne Rahl (5): Added firepower to the Sharks pack.

20. Lappies Labuschagne (6.5): Solid when he stepped in for Venter.

21. Grant Williams (6): Sped up the play when he came on.

22. Curwin Bosch (5): Kicked a penalty in his 100th match for the Sharks.

23. Francois Venter (6): Good on defence when he came on.