Cell C Sharks Sealed Win In First 20 Minutes Against Pumas

Photo Credit: Johan Orton Photography

Jimmy Stonehouse and his team were involved in another big home fixture when they faced the visiting Cell C Sharks in the Mbombela Stadium but lost 42-19.

The Sharks scored three early tries to open up a lead of 21-0 after 20 minutes. Although the Pumas managed to claw their way back into the game their worst enemy was their own inability to take advantage of their opportunities. A lacklustre performance in the first 20 minutes by the Pumas at the end the difference between winning or losing for the boys from Mbombela. 

It took the Sharks only one and a half minute before Manie Libbok strolled over the Pumas tryline to take the lead with 7-0. The rest of the first 10 minutes of the match was a scrappy affair with several scoring opportunities missed by both sides.

Madosh Tambwe scored the Sharks second try after a lazy defensive effort by the Pumas to stretch the Sharks lead to 14-0 and 26 minutes to go in the first half. Tambwe showed no sign of the hamstring injury that kept him off the field on his way to score the try.

A lineout maul from the Sharks ended up with a try to Dan Jooste that extended the Sharks lead to 21-0 with 20 minutes to go in the first half.

The Pumas at this stage lack the accuracy we became used to from them in the attack and defence. The Sharks used the "lack" of accuracy by the Pumas to score three tries in the first quarter of the match.

The next 7 minutes of the game the Pumas started to settle in and got their hands more often on quality ball. A lineout maul ended in the Pumas first try by Francois Kleinhans to narrow the gap to 7-21.

The Pumas "dominance" continued for the rest of the first half but a try by Sbu Nkosi with 41 minutes on the clock gave the Sharks a 28-7 lead at halftime.

The Pumas ground their way back into the match during the last 20 minutes of the match. However, the absence of Eddie Fouche's boot costed the Pumas 6 valuable points in missed penalty conversions.

The first 10 minutes of the second half again "dominated" by the Pumas who were unable to convert the pressure on the Sharks tryline into points.

A long-distance try by Erich Cronje in the 54th minute reduced the Sharks lead to 28-14. The momentum clearly at that stage with the Pumas.

The continued pressure on the Sharks' tryline resulted in several penalties conceded by the Sharks resulted in Sanele Nohambe the receiver of a yellow card with 15 minutes to go in the game.

Kerron van Vuuren scored the Sharks' 5th try with 13 minutes to go. The Sharks in the lead with 35-14 after Bosch's 5th conversion in the match.

The Pumas continued their pressure on the Sharks' try-line which resulted in centre Edrich Cronje's second try of the match. The Sharks still in the lead with 35-19 and with 7 minutes to go the battle seems to have been won.

A bonus point try by Kerron v Vuuren with the time almost up on the clock was the final nail in the coffin of the Pumas. The Sharks are deservedly victorious with 42-19.

Scorers:
Cell C Shark: Tries: Manie Libbok, Madosh Tambwe, Dan Jooste, Sby Nkosi, Kerron van Vuuren (2). Conversions: Curwin Bosch (6).
Phakisa Pumas: Tries: Francois Kleinhans, Erich Cronje (2). Conversions: Theo Boshoff (2).

Phakisa Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Neil Maritz, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Fiela Boshoff, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsburg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Liam Hendricks. Replacements (from): Marko Janse van Rensburg, Stepan de Jager, Brendon Valentyn, Phumzile Maqondwana, Chriswill Willemse, Neil Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, Dewald Maritz, Daniel Maartens, HP van Schoor, Kwanda Dimaza.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Manie Libbok, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Ox Nche. Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Yaw Penxe.