Sharks Suffer First Loss

The Sharks suffered their first 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby defeat as they went down 23-19 to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.  The game started on a good note with a scrum just outside the Bulls 22-metre area.  A minute later Jannie Du Plessis was penalised for an illegal binding at the first scrum.  Sibusiso Sithole ran down the touchline and the Sharks were awarded a penalty as JJ Engelbrecht tackled him before he could release the ball.  Pat Lambie was replaced by Tim Swiel after he was injured.

The first try of the night was by Willem Alberts.  A conversion by Swiel saw the Sharks at 7-0.  A penalty converted by Jacques-Louis Potgieter saw the Bulls putting three points on the score board.  A nice strike from Potgieter in the form of a drop goal saw the Bulls slowly catching up with three more points making it 6-7.

The Sharks seemed to have been having a streak of injuries as Stephan Lewies got attention for a knee problem.  Engelbrecht saw himself being penalised for being caught off side.  A penalty shot by Frans Steyn found the Sharks running away with it putting the score at 10-6 and 13-6 at half-time.

In the second half Jacques Du Plessis was seen bolting through the Sharks defence to score a try for the Bulls.  After a conversion by Potgieter the Bulls finally managed to catch up, making the score 13-13.  Engelbrecht scored a try after the defenders were nowhere to be seen.  With the conversion by Potgieter the Bulls were in the ascendancy 20-13.  After an intense srum Steyn managed to convert a penalty pulling the Sharks up to 16 points and within striking distance, however a penalty from each side would follow as the match closed out and Jake White went down for the first time since taking over at the Durban-based franchise while the Pretoria side maintain that winning feeling.  Frans Ludeke’s side are unbeaten since losing their opening two fixtures.