Sharks rally to down plucky Lions
February 21, 2009
Ryan Kankowski scored the Sharks' third try in Durban
© Getty Images
The Sharks weathered an early storm from the Lions to pick up an encouraging win in a hugely scrappy Super 14 match at the ABSA Stadium in Durban.
The Lions looked to continue their improved form after their opening win over the Cheetahs last weekend and lead just after half-time thanks to a try from wing Ashwin Willemse and five points from fly-half Earl Rose. The Sharks had earlier taken the advantage with a converted try from Deon Carstens.
Both sides struggled to assert any meaningful pressure early on, with most passages of play breaking down due to poor handling. The Lions will have been alarmed by the number of tackles that they missed in the early stages and the Sharks really should have been out of sight after the opposition slipped off 21 tackles.
The second period remained tight on the scoreboard, with the Lions hanging on to their narrow lead until Springbok wing JP Pietersen bagged the Sharks' second try. Scrum-half Rory Kockott landed the conversion and added a penalty minutes later.
The Lions' resolve was not to last however, and impressive Springbok No.8 Ryan Kankowski wrapped up the points for the home side with a superb individual score just after the hour mark. Kockott was again on target with the conversion ensuring that the Sharks went away with the points, but also plenty to work on in training next week.
Sharks: Stefan Terblanche; Odwa Ndungane, Adrian Jacobs, Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen; Ruan Pienaar, Rory Kockott; Deon Carstens, John Smit, Jannie du Plessis, Steven Sykes, Johann Muller (capt), Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Ryan Kankowski
Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, Alistair Hargreaves, Jacques Botes, Ross Cronje, Riaan Swanepoel, Luzuko Vulindlu
Lions: Louis Ludik, Ashwin Willemse, Jaque Fourie, Doppies la Grange, Henno Mentz, Earl Rose, Jano Vermaak, Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobbelaar (capt), Anton van Zyl, Gerhard Mostert, Gert Muller, Willie Wepener, Heinke van der Merwe
Replacements: Hans van Dyk, Lawrence Sephaka, Rynard Landman, Todd Clever, Chris Jonck, Andre Pretorius, Jannie Boshoff