Sharks XV hold on for narrow win
July 01, 2016

The Cell C Sharks withstood a fast-finishing Leopards outfit to claim a narrow 26-23 (half-time 14-13) win in their provincial tournament match at Northwood Crusaders in Durban on Friday.

The Sharks XV held what looked to be a comfortable 26-13 lead after 65 minutes but the Leopards struck back with two late tries to cut the deficit to just three points to ensure a nervy finish for the hosts.

Fyhalf Innocent Radebe scored a try and kicked three conversions for the hosts for a personal haul of 11 points while his opposite number Benhard Janse van Rensburg ended with 13 points as he scored a try and kicked a conversion and two penalties.

But the Sharks XV outscored their opponents by four tries to three in the entertaining encounter played in blustery conditions.

The Leopards made the stronger start to the contest with two Janse van Rensburg penalties giving them a 6-0 lead after 15 minutes.

But the Sharks XV took the lead for the first time when outside centre Neil Maritz went over for a converted try in the 30th minute.

The hosts extended their lead four minutes later when left wing Nkululeko Marwana skated over for another converted try.

However, the Leopards ensured that they went to the break trailing by just one point when flank Jaco Jordaan barrelled his way over for a converted score in the 38th minute.

The second half proved to be just as tightly contested but the Sharks XV extended their lead in the 57th minute when lock, and captain for the night, David McDuling, barged his way over for an unconverted try in the 57th minute before Radebe scored and converted his own try in the 65th minute.

But the Leopards were not done just yet and they set up the tight finish thanks to two tries in two minutes, from replacement centre Rowayne Beukman and Janse van Rensburg, but Janse van Rensburg failed to convert his own try before the Sharks XV held out their opponents to clinch the victory.


Cell C Sharks – Tries: David McDuling, Innocent Radebe, Neil Maritz, Nkululeko Marwana; Conversions: Radebe (3).

Leopards XV – Tries: Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Jaco Jordaan, Rowayne Beukman; Conversions: Janse van Rensburg; Penalties: Janse van Rensburg (2).

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