Sharks XV through to semis
Duane Heath
April 30, 2011
The Sharks XV won through to the semifinals of the Vodacom Cup with a tense 21-19 (halftime 15-8) win over Western Province at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

The semifinals will see the Blue Bulls play Griquas, and the Sharks XV play the Pampas XV. The venues and times are to be confirmed by SA Rugby.

In a scrappy match that never truly got going, it was the Sharks XV who opened the scoring in the 13th minute when right wing Mark Richards was freed down the right-hand touchline and succeeded in breaking through four would-be WP tacklers to dot down in the corner.

Province equalised four minutes later from a turnover on their 10-metre line that saw the ball spun quickly to left wing JJ Engelbrecht, whose long legs carried him past the Sharks’ cover defence for a try-scoring run down the grandstand touchline.

Sharks flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter broke the deadlock on the half hour when he slotted a penalty for the Sharks, cancelled out five minutes later by WP ‘s debutant flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, a late call-up after Peter Grant failed a fitness test for the Stormers.

The Sharks XV gained some crucial breathing space just before the break when eighthman Marcell Coetzee was given an armchair ride down the right-hand touchline from a scrum before feeding unmarked scrumhalf Cobus Reinach on his outside.

Potgieter’s touchline conversion made it 15-8 and the flyhalf extended the lead to 10 points with a second penalty early in the second half.

Catrakilis also slotted a second penalty, with 21 minutes left, to cut the deficit to a converted try and then nailed a third to make it 18-14.

But Potgieter was equal to the task in this tit-for-tat kicking display, kicking his second penalty with 11 minutes left to restore the seven-point buffer.

With three minutes to go, WP put together a string of phases that saw right wing Danie Poolman dive over, but Catrakilis couldn’t convert from an acute angle to in all likelihood force the game into extra time.


Western Province 19– Tries: JJ Engebrecht, Danie Poolman. Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (3).

Sharks XV 21– Tries: Mark Richards, Cobus Reinach. Conversion: Jacques-Louis Potgieter. Penalties: Potgieter (3).

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