Ill Discipline Cost Cell C Sharks Against Dominant Harlequins


The Cell C Sharks paid the price for their ill discipline against Harlequins and suffered their first loss in the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup. The hosts scored five tries to the four of the Cell C Sharks to win 39-29.

The Cell C Sharks started like a house on fire, however, the brilliance of the Harlequins on the attack resulted in three brilliant tries by Harlequins. The Cell C Sharks struggled to defend against the speed of the Harlequins' attack. Harlequins led 21-08 after just 20 minutes of play.

The Cell C Sharks scored two tries to narrow the gap to just two points as Harlequins goes into the second half leading 24-22. The match lost most of its structure at this stage with both teams attacking from everywhere.

Harlequins started the second half like a house on fire and scored two quick tries to lead 36-22 with 20 minutes to play. The discipline by the Cell C Sharks is costing them try-scoring opportunities after conceding 11 penalties to 3 of the Harlequins.

The number of errors made by the Cell C Sharks not only cost them a vital try being disallowed as well as several try-scoring opportunities. Harlequins is a deserved 29-29 winner as the Cell C Sharks conceded 16 penalties to the 9 by Harlequins.

Harlequins: Tries: Danny Care, Alex Dombrandt, Cadan Murley, Stephan Lewies, Nick David. Conversions: Marcus Smith (4). Penalties: Marcus Smith (2)
Cell C Sharks: Tries: Lukhanyo Am, Jaden Hendrikse, Eben Etzebeth. Aphelele Fassi. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3). Penalty: Curwin Bosch.

How it Happened:
01:33 The Cell C Sharks attacked from the first scrum of the match and from inside their half. Great hands by the backline of the Cell Sharks and a delicate grubber by Aphelele Fassi sent Lukhanyo Am away to score the first try of the match. (00-05)
05:46 Danny Care slipped through the tiniest of gaps to reply to the Cell C Sharks try. (07-05)
08:39 A typically huge carry from Andre Esterhuizen and some lovely Marcus Smith hands set the foundations, with Nick David bursting through a gap before finding Alex Dombrandt who scored Harlequins' second try. (14-05)
13:44 Curwin Bosch converted a penalty for the Cell C Sharks. (14-08)
17:43 An easy try by Cadan Murley after some great handling by the Harlequins backline. (21-08)
26:36 Jaden Hendrikse scored in the corner after Marnus Potgieter bulldozed his way through the Harlequins' backline defence. (21-15)
30:54 Marcus Smith converted the penalty for the hosts. (24-15)
38:46 Eben Etzebeth snatches the ball from the back of a maul on the Harlequins side and ran 40 meters for an easy try. (24-22)
42:14 Stephan Lewies scored the Harlequins' fourth and bonus point try from the front of a 5m Lineout-maul. (29-22)
51:46 Nick David scored a brilliant long-distance try after the Cell C Sharks fumbled on the attack. (36-22)
69:00 Marcus Smith converted a penalty for the Harlequins. (39-22)
77:51 Aphelele Fassi scored a brilliant try in the corner for the Cell C Sharks' bonus point. (39-29)


Harlequins: 15. Nick David, 14. Cadan Murley, 13. Joe Marchant, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Josh Bassett, 10. Marcus Smith, 9. Danny Care, 8. Alex Dombrandt (c), 7. Will Evans, 6. Dino Lamb, 5. Irne Herbst, 4. Stephan Lewies, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Jack Walker, 1. Joe Marler. Replacements: 16. George Head, 17. Fin Baxter, 18. Simon Kerrod, 19. Tom Lawday, 20. Luke Wallace, 21. Scott Steele, 22. Tommy Allan, 23. Oscar Beard

Cell C Sharks: 15. Aphelele Fassi, 14. Marnus Potgieter, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Ben Tapuai, 11. Thaakir Abrahams, 10. Curwin Bosch, 9. Jaden Hendrikse, 8. Phepsi Buthelezi, 7. Vincent Tshituka, 6. Siya Kolisi (c), 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Thomas du Toit, 2. Kerron van Vuuren, 1. Ox Nche. Replacements: 16. Dan Jooste, 17. Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18. Carlü Sadie, 19. Hyron Andrews, 20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21. Grant Williams, 22. Lionel Cronje, 23. Francois Venter.