In an error-ridden game that never reached any great heights but provided big intensity on defence, the Sharks got their Super Rugby campaign back on track by getting the better of the Jaguares at a humid Kings Park on Saturday afternoon.
Outscoring the visitors by two tries to one, the Sharks won 18-13 after leading just 8-6 at the break, but countless handling errors and unforced errors would have frustrated coach Robert du Preez.
Who was the star of this match?
Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach crucially scored the game’s opening try in the sixth minute through an intercept for the first points of the game with the Jaguares strong on the attack.
While he made himself guilty with an early but try-saving neck tackle on Jaguares centre Jeronimo De la Fuente, his workrate was extremely high. He got in the faces of the Jaguares with his defence and gave direction at a stage when flyhalf Inny Radebe was struggling at pivot.
Key moments of the match
- With the Sharks looking very impressive at scrum time through Coenie Oosthuizen and later Thomas du Toit, it took an 78thminute penalty by fullback Curwin Bosch to secure the win and make the game safe.
- The Jaguares try awarded by referee Angus Gardner when there was a strong suggestion that lock Marcos Kremer was short of the line reduced the Sharks lead to just 15-13 with only 18 minutes left in the game. It was controversial after TMO Marius Jonker advised Gardner there was no clear evidence that ‘a try in fact had been scored’.
- Curwin Bosch, at fullback this time, crucially lost the ball over the Jaguares line in the dying seconds of the first half which could have been a crucial score for the Sharks who held a tender two-point advantage going into halftime.
- With the Jaguares leading by one point at 6-5 their flyhalf Nicholas Sanchez crucially missed two successive penalties in the 17th and 20th minutes, which was unaccustomed for this normally reliable and sound goalkicker. In the 57th minute he was also yellow-carded for an early tackle on Radebe.
Sharks: Tries: Cobus Reinach, Andre Esterhuizen. Conversions: Curwin Bosch. Penalties: Bosch (2).
Jaguares: Try: Augustin Creevy. Conversions: Bautista Ezcurra. Penalties: Nicholas Sanchez (2)