Sharks Edge Lions In A Thriller

Photo Credit: Gallo Images

Fierce franchise rivalry resumed on Friday evening when Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked kicked off with the Cell C Sharks hosting the Emirates Lions in an exciting opening round with the Sharks just edging the Lions with 19-16.

The match started with both teams going to the air with the Sharks who enjoyed dominance with the ball in hand. The ease with which the Sharks scored their first try just spelt doom for the Lions when Werner Kok strolled over for the Sharks only try of the game.

The Lions were starved of quality ball for a good 15 minutes of the first half. The Lions got their hand on some quality ball during the rest of the first half, but it was the Sharks who dominated and lead 13-3 at the end of the first half.

The Lions ended the first half on the attack and were not out of the game at that stage. A great game at the halftime break as the worries regarding the Springboks' chances in Australia is disappearing.

The second half was more of the same with the Lions struggling to convert their opportunities into points. A brilliant cross-kick by Elton Jantjies resulted in Jumbo Unlengo strolling over for the Lions' first try of the match.

With 20 minutes left to go in the match, the momentum has swung in the favour of the Lions. The Lions trailed at that stage with 13-16 and had everything to play for.

A failed penalty by the Lions allowed the Sharks to win this exciting game with 19-16 with the Lions not able to and refused to convert several penalties at the death of the game to score an equaliser or win.

A great game played by two teams who were willing to play the game of rugby.

Cell C Sharks: Try: Werner Kok. Conversion: Curwin Bosch. Penalties: Curwin Bosch (3).
Emirates Lions: Try: Jamba Ulengo. Conversion. Elton Jantjies. Penalties: Elton Jantjies (2).

Cell C Sharks: 1. Ox Nche, 2. Dylan Richardson, 3. Thomas du Toit, 4. Ruben van Heerden, 5. Hyron Andrews, 6. James Venter, 7. Phepsi Buthelezi, 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 9. Sanele Nohamba, 10. Curwin Bosch, 11. Werner Kok, 12. Marius Louw, 13. Lukhanyo Am (c), 14. JP Pietersen, 15. Manie Libbok. Replacements: 16. Dan Jooste, 17. Mzamo Majola, 18. John-Hubert Meyer, 19. JJ van der Mescht, 20. Mpilo Gumede, 21. Grant Williams, 22. Jeremy Ward, 23. Thaakir Abrahams.

Emirates Lions: 15. EW Viljoen, 14. Jamba Ulengo, 13. Burger Odendaal, 12. Dan Kriel, 11. Rabz Maxwane, 10. Elton Jantjies (C), 9. Dillon Smit, 8. Len Massyn, 7. Vincent Tshituka, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Marvin Oie, 4. Willem Alberts, 3. Carlu Sadie, 2. Jaco Visagie, 1. Sti Sithole. Replacements: 16. Jan-Henning Campher, 17. Dylan Smith, 18. Wiehahn Herbst, 19. Wilhelm vd Sluys, 20. MJ Pelser, 21. Hacjivah Dayimani, 22. Morné van den Berg, 23. Gianni Lombard 24. Wandisile Simelane, 25. Ruan Dreyer.