The Hurricanes have put a big dent in the Sharks’ hopes of reaching the play-offs, beating the home side 30-17 at Kings Park on Saturday.
With two tough away games against the Jaguares and the Stormers ahead of them, the Sharks needed a victory to keep themselves in a strong position to make the quarterfinals.
Failing to pick up a point means the Sharks stay on 33 points, eight points behind SA Conference leaders, the Jaguares.
The visitors opened the scoring in the sixth minute with some scintillating interplay which started from a scrum inside their own half. After a few phases the ball was spread wide to Beauden Barrett who split the Sharks’ defence before offloading to his brother Jodie who sprinted in for a try.
The Sharks’ first points of the game came via a Curwin Bosch penalty in the 10th minute which reduced the deficit to four points. However, a few minutes later the Hurricanes’ seven-point lead was restored with a Beauden Barrett three-pointer.
The Hurricanes were looking in complete control in the opening quarter and Beauden extended his team’s lead to 10 points in the 17th minute with another penalty.
The home side had quite a few try-scoring opportunities in the Hurricanes’ 22, but their handling let them down when it mattered it most.
Instead, the Hurricanes extended their lead when centre Ngani Laumape stretched over for a try in the 33rd minute after a line-out a couple of metres from the Sharks’ tryline. Beauden Barrett added the extra two points with the conversion.
The Sharks need to be the next to score to stay in the game and they did just that when fullback Aphelele Fassi was put into space to run in for his team’s first try in the 39th minute after some good interplay between backs and forwards.
Bosch was successful with the conversion and at half-time it was 20-10 to the Hurricanes.
The Sharks had the perfect start in the second half when prop Juan Schoeman crashed over for his team’s second try of the match in the 44th minute after some more great interplay. Bosch converted the score to reduce the deficit to just three points.
The Sharks were by far the better team in the third quarter, but they could not convert that dominance into more points.
Instead, Beauden Barrett gave his team a six-point lead in the 63rd minute with a penalty.
That was then extended in the 66th minute when Hurricanes sent the ball wide from a line-out which found its way to wing Wes Goosen who dived over the tryline in the corner. The try was converted, and the Hurricanes had a handy 13-point lead with 13 minutes left on the clock.
The Sharks were given a glimmer of hope in the 75th-minute when Vaea Fifita was given a red card for a high tackle.
However, the home side could not take advantage of their extra man with the Hurricanes getting a comfortable win in the end.
Man of the match: Ardie Savea was outstanding in all areas of the game, especially at the breakdowns where he won a number of turnovers.
Tries: Fassie, Schoeman
Cons: Bosch 2
Tries: J Barrett, Laumape, Goosen
Cons: B Barrett 3
Pens: B Barrett 3
Red card: Vaea Fifita (Hurricanes, 75 – dangerous play, red card)
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Cullen Collopy, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Robert du Preez, 23. Kobus van Wyk.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Kane Le’aupepe, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Gareth Evans, 22 Richard Judd, 23 James Marshall.
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Divan Uys (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)
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