Sharks XV snatch narrow win
April 24, 2010
The Sharks XV overcame a spirited second half performance from the GWK Griquas to snatch a narrow 28-24 (halftime 21-7) win in their Vodacom Cup quarterfinal at Absa Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

The home side began the last 10 minutes of the match holding a 28-14 lead.

But, in the 71st minute, replacement hooker Simon Westraadt bulldozed his way over for an unconverted try and less than two minutes later hardworking flank Wesley Wilkins streaked down the right-hand touchline for a try from 30 metres out as the visitors cut the lead to four points.

However, the Sharks XV defence held firm for the last eight minutes to clinch their place in the semifinals.

The Sharks XV had opened up an early lead as flyhalf Monty Dumond, who turned in an assured performance, succeeded with three penalties in the first 14 minutes of the match.

The hosts were enjoying a significant territorial advantage and they made it count in the 17th minute when loosehead prop Pat Cilliers was on hand to scoop up a ball from a ruck and dive over from close range.

Dumond failed with the conversion attempt and the miss seemed to revive the visitors who slowly clawed their way back into the contest.

Their persistence was rewarded when a period of sustained pressure saw left wing Zhahier Ryland canter over untouched after the home side simply ran out of defenders.

The conversion narrowed the gap to 14-7 with 11 minutes of the half to play.

The Sharks XV reasserted their ascendancy three minutes later when scrumhalf Charl McLeod broke down the blindside, from a scrum five metres from Griquas’ tryline, to scamper over for a converted try.

The score saw the home side take a 14-point lead into the break but it was the visitor’s who began the second stanza as the brighter of the two sides.

Six minutes after the break Westraadt crashed over the line under a pile of bodies for a converted try.

However, the Sharks XV restored their 14-point buffer when McLeod scored his second try after he intercepted a pass from his opposite number Donald Stevens two metres from the Griquas’ tryline.

The home side must have thought that the score had sewn the match up but they reckoned without their opponents as the Griquas’ forwards, who had been shaded in the first half, dominated the final quarter of the match.


Sharks XV - Tries: Patric Cilliers, Charl McLeod (2); Conversions: Monty Dumond (2); Penalties: Monty Dumond (3)

GWK Griquas - Tries: Zhahier Ryland, Simon Westraadt (2), Wesley Wilkins; Conversions: Donald Stevens (2).

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