The Sharks came back from the dead to eventually annihilate the Lions 47-31 in their Currie Cup encounter at Ellis Park on Saturday night.
It was an impressive feat given that the Lions held a comfortable 24-5 lead at the break.
But when Robbie Coetzee, the hosts’ hooker, was sent off after 45 minutes, things threatened to go pear-shaped and the Sharks pounced big time.
While it has been a delayed introduction for new Lions head coach Swys de Bruin to the competition, it must be remembered that this Sharks team who outplayed the Blue Bulls at Loftus on Wednesday night.
They look like title contenders.
Who was the star in this match?
The award simply has to go to Sharks loose forward Jacques Vermeulen, who scored two of the Sharks tries and was ever-present in putting pressure on the Lions breakdown and backline. He was just bursting with energy and go-forward the entire match.
Key moments and themes
- The Sharks turned the game around in the second half, limiting the Lions to just seven points and scoring 42 themselves. Coetzee’s red card for a kick to the head was obviously a factor in giving the Durbanites momentum but the Lions were simply nowhere in the last 40. And remember, it was the Sharks who’ve played their third game in seven days and not the Lions!
- After weathering the initial Sharks onslaught the Lions opened the scoring with Springbok centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg scoring the first try after 11 minutes to give the homeside an 7-0 lead. Three more tries by centre Jacques Nel, wing Anthony Volmink and replacement No 9 Marco Janse van Vuuren gave the Lions a 24-0 lead against the shell-shocked vistors. But that would prove to be misleading.
- Sharks No 8 Tera Mtembu scored the visitors first try on the stroke of halftime which was to be a vital score. It gave them a much-needed confidence boost, which soared when they suddenly had one extra man to play with.
Lions – Tries: Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Nel, Anthony Volmink, Marco Janse van Vuuren, Fabian Booysen. Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (3).
Sharks – Tries: Tera Mtembu, Jacques Vermeulen (2), penalty try, Louis Schreuder, John-Hubert Meyer, Keegan Daniel. Conversions: Garth April (5).