SHARKS FALL AT FINAL HURDLE
Written by: Venal Naidu
The Cell C Sharks crumbled in the last half of the Currie Cup season losing to the DHL Western Province in the final at the Growth Point Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
The Sharks opened the scoring with veteran winger Odwa Ndungane after a quick attacking move on the left side of the pitch.
Western Provinve struck back immediately with a try of their own but it was cancelled out by a Daniel du Preez try soon after.
Curwin Bosch recorded a 50% conversion rate from the spot throughout the game but his 2 penalties, conversion and drop goal from the halfway line ensured the Sharks go into half time with a lead.
Western Province got a try back before half time which proved to be the momentum shifter in the game as the score at halftime was cut down to six points when the Sharks led 21-15.
In the second half, Robert du Preez Junior proved key for Western Province as his kicking game ensured Western Province played the game in the attacking half of the pitch. Western Province scored 2 tries and 2 penalties and the Sharks did not score a point as province went on to win 33-21.
Cell C Coach Sharks Robert du Preez said that the Sharks’ first half performance did not match the second and stated that the try before half time changed the game.
“I thought we really played well in that first 40 minutes. It was a big momentum swing when they scored that try before half time,” said du Preez.
Du Preez added that the second half was frustrating for the Sharks.
“It was a game of two halves; in the second half we couldn’t get our hands on the ball, we couldn’t get possession, it was tough,” explained du Preez.
DHL Western Province Coach John Dobson believed in his players even though they were down at halftime.
“I still knew even though we were down at half time that we were still in the game,” said Dobson.
Dobson ended by stating that the Sharks were the best team for the longer part of the tournament.
“I feel sorry for the Sharks because they were the best team for the league part of the competition, but our team was getting better and better as the tournament progressed,” ended Dobson.
*Caption: Western Province team celebrating their Currie Cup triumph.