Sharks midfielder Lukhanyo Am scored a brace in Durban but the hosts had to be content with a 24-all draw against the New South Wales Waratahs.
The Sharks led 24-17 with five minutes to go but the Waratahs scored on the counter attack to level the game. Curwin Bosch, on at fullback for Lwazi Mvovo, tried to win the game with two successive 50 metre drop goal attempts, but one was short and one was charged down.
And it was the Sharks defending desperately on full time to secure a draw when a win seemed assured.
Am aside, there were also strong individual performances from fullback Lwazi Mvovo, Sbu Nkosi and Andre Esterhuizen, especially on attack.
But collectively, the Sharks rated five from 10 when a six from 10 was needed to beat the Waratahs, whose captain Michael Hooper was outstanding.
- Prior to Saturday, each of the last six games between these teams has been won by the home team on the day.
- Waratahs lost both of their games in South Africa in Super Rugby 2017; however, they had won four of six games in the country prior (L2).
- Prior to Saturday, the Sharks have conceded just eight tries in their last six home games against Australian opposition, twice keeping their opponents tryless in that period.
- Bernard Foley crossed for a try in each of his three previous games against the Sharks. But it was his touchline conversion with four minutes to play that secured the Tahs a draw.
Sharks v Waratahs, Durban – 15:05
15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (captain), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Curwin Bosch
15 Israel Folau, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Tom Staniforth, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Kalivati Tawake, 19 Nick Palmer, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Alex Newsome
If you missed the match, here’s how the 80 minutes played out.
- It’s all over! The referee has blown his whistle to end the game.
- 80‘The opposition have charged down Curwin Bosch drop goal attempt!.
- 78‘Sharks have a drop goal attempt through the boot of Curwin Bosch, but he pulls it to the left.
- 77‘The touch judges raise their flags as Bernard Foley kicks the conversion.
- 77‘Juan Schoeman comes on for Sharks.
- 77‘Tendai Mtawarira leaves the field.
- 76‘Bryce Hegarty sets up the try.
- 75‘Silky skills by Waratahs ends with a try for Mitch Short.
- 75‘Trouble here as Lalakai Foketi breaches the defence.
- 74‘Waratahs have won 60 rucks so far this game.
- 71‘Hugh Roach comes on.
- 71‘Damien Fitzpatrick comes off.
- 71‘Harry Johnson-Holmes comes on.
- 71‘Tom Robertson comes off.
- 71‘Robert du Preez adds the two points for Sharks.
- 70‘Spellbinding play by Marius Louw is finished off with a try.
- 70‘This is dangerous for the defence as Marius Louw bursts through to advance the Sharks attack.
- 70‘A wonderful passing move by Sharks is finished off by Robert du Preez.
- 68‘A gap opened in the defence and Mitch Short took full advantage.
- 67‘Mitch Short comes on.
- 67‘Jake Gordon comes off.
- 67‘Waratahs decide to make a substitution, with Will Miller getting some game time.
- 67‘Waratahs decide to make a substitution, with Thomas Staniforth being replaced.
- 67‘Tom Robertson has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 67‘The defensive line has been broken as Cameron Wright goes through the gap.
- 67‘Sharks have won 60 rucks so far this game.
- 66‘Tyler Paul has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 63‘Sharks make a substitution with Marius Louw coming on.
- 63‘Sharks make a substitution with Andre Esterhuizen coming off.
- 61‘Sharks sub Hyron Andrews comes onto the field.
- 61‘Stephan Lewies departs for Sharks.
- 61‘Curwin Bosch steps up to take the penalty but pulls it wide and to the right.
- 58‘John-Hubert Meyer comes on for Sharks.
- 58‘Thomas du Toit leaves the field.
- 57‘Thomas Staniforth has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 56‘Bernard Foley does the business as his conversion attempt goes over.
- 56‘Lubabalo Mtembu comes on.
- 56‘Keegan Daniel comes off.
- 56‘Curwin Bosch comes on.
- 56‘Lwazi Mvovo comes off.
- 55‘Tom Robertson played a key part in that try.
- 55‘What a run here by Tom Robertson as they gets over the gainline!.
- 55‘A series of passes by Waratahs results in a try for Michael Hooper.
- 52‘Nick Palmer comes on.
- 52‘Jed Holloway comes off.
- 52‘Waratahs decide to make a substitution, with Kalivati Tawake getting some game time.
- 52‘Waratahs decide to make a substitution, with Paddy Ryan being replaced.
- 51‘Waratahs make a substitution with Bryce Hegarty coming on.
- 51‘Waratahs make a substitution with Andrew Kellaway coming off.
- 49‘Michael Wells has made 10 good tackles so far this game.
- 47‘Waratahs have won 40 rucks so far this game.
- 46‘Robert du Preez makes no mistake with that conversion attempt.
- 45‘Lukhanyo Am makes the break as the defence re-enacts the parting of the red sea.
- 45‘That’s a great try assist by Armand van der Merwe.
- 45‘A stunning solo try from Lukhanyo Am.
- 45‘Sharks sub Cameron Wright comes onto the field.
- 45‘Louis Schreuder departs for Sharks.
- 45‘Armand van der Merwe comes on for Sharks.
- 45‘Franco Marais leaves the field.
- 42‘Fabulous play by Waratahs has led to Israel Folau being able to wriggle through a gap.
- 40‘Alex Newsome comes on.
- 40‘Kurtley Beale comes off.
- 40‘The second half is underway.
- 40‘Sharks have won 40 rucks so far this game.
- 40‘The half-time whistle blows and both teams’ head for the dressing rooms.
- 39‘Try saving tackle made by Israel Folau.
- 39‘What a tackle there by Michael Hooper as he saves a certain try!.
- 30‘Bernard Foley kicks the penalty.
- 29‘Waratahs have won 20 rucks so far this game.
- 24‘Sharks have won 20 rucks so far this game.
- 18‘Robert du Preez converts the try.
- 17‘Louis Schreuder sets up the try.
- 17‘Great hands by Sharks leads to a try for Lukhanyo Am.
- 17‘Trouble here as Andre Esterhuizen breaches the defence.
- 11‘Robert du Preez has kicked a penalty goal.
- 9‘This is dangerous for the defence as Lwazi Mvovo bursts through to advance the Sharks attack.
- 5‘Bernard Foley has kicked a conversion.
- 3‘A gap opened in the defence and Jake Gordon took full advantage.
- 3‘Waratahs are only a few metres out, surely they must score! And they do with Jake Gordon touching down.
- The defensive line has been broken as Louis Schreuder goes through the gap.