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Sharks fight their way back to beat Reds

Lwazi Mvovo passes the ball in the tackle

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Article Published: Sunday 18 March 2012

The Sharks fought their way back from being down 0-17 to beat reigning Super Rugby Champions the Reds 27-22 in Durban on Saturday. 

First half Tries from James Hanson and Scott Higginbotham gave defending champions the Reds a 10-17 half-time lead.

Jandre Marais scored the Sharks only first half try. The Sharks added two more tries in the second half but they failed to score the fourth bonus point try.

The Reds secured a losing bonus point which moved them above the Brumbies in the standings and they continue to lead the Australian conference.

The Reds had a horror second half as they started the half with Digby Ioane in the sin-bin for a dangerous lifting tackle and before he came back on fly-half Ben Lucas pulled his hamstring.

Earlier in the first half Mike Harris was forced from the field injured so Lucas' injury meant that Will Genia had to take over the kicking duties and he missed a conversion and a penalty which could have earned the Reds five points and quite possibly a draw.

At the start, the Reds managed to score from their first attack when James Horwill won his own line-out and Hanson found a way through the maul as he burst through to touch the ball down one-handed.

Mike Harris added the conversion, but then missed a penalty in swirling condition after an error from Bismarck du Plessis.

It was all the Reds thereafter with Higginbotham going in under the posts after superb play from the backs to take the ball wide and forward again after the Sharks failed to find touch with an ordinary clearance by Patrick Lambie.

Ben Lucas looped over a simple conversion to make it 14-0 after 26 minutes.

More erring from the home side and vice-captain Du Plessis, who was caught off-side, allowed Lucas another chance at goal which he successfully completed, before the Reds' momentum was finally halted in the 34th minute.

Marais had just come onto the field to replace the injured Steven Sykes and ran onto a thrown up pass from Charl McLeod to force his way over --Lambie adding the conversion.

Lwazi Mvovo was then denied a try after Willem Alberts was spotted going dangerously into a tackle.

Another precarious tackle by Digby Ioane on Marcell Coetzee resulted in a yellow card for the winger, with Lambie slotting over the resulting penalty to further cut the gap heading into half time.

Straight after the restart, Lambie narrowed the gap to four with another penalty, while Coetzee and Mvovo wasted straightforward chances to draw their side level.

But they finally managed to take the lead in the 55th minute when skipper Daniel picked up at the base of the scrum and scampered through a tiring Reds defence to score.

Lambie converted, but straight after the restart, Ioane and Frisby won a sprint down the right with the former setting up the latter to score after the Sharks threw away possession.

However, the hosts did the same thing from the next kick-off with Riaan Viljoen selling a dummy and cutting inside to score another converted try on the right.

It proved the final score as the home side held on for a second win of the campaign.

Final Score Sharks 27 (10) Reds 22 (17)


Tries - J. Marais, K. Daniel, R. Viljoen
Pen - P. Lambie 2
Con - P. Lambie 3
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - J. Hanson, S. Higginbotham, N. Frisby
Pen - B. Lucas
Con - M. Harris, B. Lucas
Drop -
Cards - D. Ioane (yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant Ref 1:Mark Lawrence
Assistant Ref 2:Cobus Wessels
TMO : Shaun Veldsman


Sharks: 1. Dale Chadwick, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Steven Sykes, 5. Anton Bresler, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 7. Willem Alberts, 8. Keegan Daniel (c), 9. Charl McLeod, 10. Patrick Lambie, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 12. Meyer Bosman, 13. Tim Whitehead, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 15. Riaan Viljoen.

Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Jandre Marais, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Frederic Michalak, 21. , 22. Louis Ludik.

Reds: 1. Greg Holmes, 2. James Hanson, 3. James Slipper, 4. James Horwill (c), 5. Van Humphries, 6. Scott Higginbotham, 7. Beau Robinson, 8. Radike Samo, 9. Will Genia (vc), 10. Ben Lucas, 11. Digby Ioane, 12. Mike Harris, 13. Ben Tapuai, 14. Dom Shipperley, 15. Rod Davies.

Replacements: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Rob Simmons, 19. Jake Schatz, 20. Liam Gill, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Luke Morahan.

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