Jarman’s Pick of the Week
This week the game to watch was an in form Melbourne Rebels team taking on the Sharks in Durban. The Sharks have had an indifferent start to their campaign this season. After wins in their first two games they were then undone in in their next two games by the Stormers and bulls respectively. While week 6 is way too early to be calling any game a must win, this particular game had that feel about it for the Sharks. The rebels however were coming of the back of a great win against their arch rival Brumbies and would be in high spirits for this clash.
The early pressure expectedly came from the home team with a 5m scrum at their opponents try line and after a great carry from Andre Esterhuizen stopped just short of the try line the ball was recycled quickly and with men out wide the Rebels were under pressure not to concede. With space out wide the Sharks 8th man, Dan Du Preez decided to put his head down instead and go for it, a decision while un wise, paid dividends as he showed strength and determination to power his way over the try line just next to the upright, 7-0 sharks. The Sharks fly half Robert Du Preez would add another 3 points in the 17th minute to make it 10-0.
The Rebels however in an effort not to be out done had a response in the 21st minute as they set up what looked to be a line out drive from a penalty kick and lineout however the ball was moved swiftly into the hands of the mercurial number 10 Quade Cooper and he drew the defense onto him knowing he had an extra man out wide and just before he made contact he flung a great pass out wide for winger Tom English to canter over the line for a simple dot down, 10-7, Sharks still in control. The sharks would add to their tally through the boot of their number ten again in superb form in the 27th minute slotting home another penalty. The Rebels were not done yet though and struck back just 4 minutes later with good work done in the buildup play from first Billy Meakes and then Angus Cottrel to get well over the advantage line, the ever present Cooper then put the Rebels fullback Jack Maddocks into a gap for a simple run in with one defender to beat for his 5th try of the season. 14-13 to the Rebels and a great contest on the go. Sharks fly half would take his team into the lead once more showing great accuracy with the boot 16-14 at the break. The game still well and truly there for the taking for each of these two teams.
The second half began as the first with the home team making early inroads into the half of the Rebels and the pressure would pay off in the 52nd minute as the Sharks forwards gathered the attention of the defense just a meter out from the line the Rebels were left terribly short out wide as several Sharks players were lining up and waiting to receive a pass for a walk over the line. The ball would eventually make its way to Robert Du Preez, the fly half, receiving a looped pass from scrum half Louis Shreuder for an easy try which the fly half then, converting his own try to put the home side up 23-14. The home side would be the next team to score and quite possibly put the game to bed in the 58th minute as they got a scrum near their opponents try line and a simple yet effective move down the blindside saw Robert Du Preez set up a try for winger Makazola Mapimpi in the corner, Du Preez unable to kick the conversion, means the Sharks had a 14 point lead now at 28-14 and seemly everything under control.
Mapimpi would find a gap again in the 74th minute and go alone from in his own half to score a try which would have been a fantastic solo effort but the TMO would intervene as there was foul play from one of the Sharks players back on the halfway line as Marius Louw was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle, setting up a perhaps nervy and unnecessary last few minutes for the home team. The Sharks however were determined to buck their losing trend and managed the last few minutes well as they ran out comfortable victors in the end 28-14 over the Rebels.
Hurricanes vs Stormers
The first of the SA teams to play in week 6 coming off a good win over the Jaguares would give a stern test to the Hurricanes in this epic clash. Stormers would be first on the scoreboard through two early penalties from SP Marais, however the home team would reply with two tries either side of a yellow card for the stormers for continues infringements in the red zone 15-6 24 minutes in. The Stormers would show great character and actually score with 14 men on the field through captain Siya Kolisi, not done yet the Stormers added another try well after the half time hooter had sounded after the Hurricanes had a man sent to the bin themselves, 21-15 to the Stormers at the break.
Second half and the home team looked to take control of the game and their pressure was rewarded in the 52nd minute as Wes Goosen finished off a slick handling move 22-21 Hurricanes and the game wide open. Stormer’s response was swift as Jaco Coetzee crashed over for a try in the 58th minute 28-22 Stormers. The home team were the much better side after that and ran in two unanswered tries from Wes Goosen and fly half Beauden Barret to leave the tourists reeling at 34-28 and unable to reply with any meaningful impact. As a result the end score was 34-28 to the Hurricanes.
Sunwolves vs Lions
A game promising to be a try fest as both teams prefers not to kick if at all possible. The home team would take an early lead through a penalty try and a yellow card for Lions winger Sylvian Mahuza, not the start they wanted. The Lions struck back 7 minutes later even with 14 men on the field Malcom Marx going over after a rolling maul. 7-7. The Lions would breach the Sunwolves defense again in the 35th minute with another rolling mall Marx going over for his 2nd of the match. 12-7 Lions at half time.
The home team would score first again in the second half through the boot of Hayden Parker before the Lions would run in three tries from Nic Groom, Elton Jantjies and Lionel Mapoe to make it 29-10 with 19 minutes left to play in the match, the Lions running away with the game quite literally. The Sunwolves needed to be the next team to score and the duly obliged in the 65th minute with Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco crashing over the line near the upright 29-17 now as the Sunwolves looked to come back. The Lions would score next to all but assure them of the victory through 2nd half substitute Hacjivah Daylmani. The Sunwolves would get a late consolation try but ultimately the spoils belonged to the Lions 37-24.
Bulls Vs Chiefs
The chiefs struggling for form in this year’s competition traveled to a confident Bulls team in good form ahead of this game. After trading penalties in the first few minutes the floodgates seemingly open for the away team and Solomon Alaimalo, Alex Nankivell and Brodie Retalick all found their way over the line 24-6 at half time and the Bulls with a mountain to climb just to get back into the game.
However it would be the away team who would grab the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half as Captain Retalick grabbed his brace as well as Alex Nankivell and Solomon Alaimalo with Te Toiroa also running in a try this quickly turned into a rout for the home team who did muster up a couple tries of their own through Jesse Kriel and Burger Odendaal but never really challenged the Chiefs in a meaningful way. End score in this one 56-20 to the Chiefs.