Saturday, September 23, 2006
CLOSE- BUT THE CIGAR IS STILL OLLIE'S
Well- in the end a somewhat misdirected kick from the BloemBoyByTheSEA Ruan Pienaar had ruined some happiness in Tswane and VisVoetVille- but I couldnt care less.
The Cheetahs had struggled to retain their composure and had lost the ping pong battle with Frans Steyn - but some fearless defending had ensure that the Sharks did not win the game.
Well I must applaude Kankofski's try- it was awesome.
To the rest of the Sharks game, eyegouging etc I just have the ultimate disrespect!
In my eyes- the Sharks( mentality) sucks!
Cheetahs should just be thankful for the win- and try to sort out the root cause for loosing composure.I will watch the game again and will then post a match report based on that.
We will take it-
Sharks played very abbrasive to day
I see some comments on Cheetahs playing it off the ball
I had sit behind the poles where everything had happened
That try by Kankofski was very good.
Maybe the ref was the worst dimension on the field.
I such scenarios- when you are on the winning side - just be thankful
Saturday September 23 2006
Late conversion robs Sharks of a draw
The Cheetahs sneaked a fortuitous 37-35 Currie Cup Round 13 win against the Sharks in a nail-biting match in Bloemfontein on Saturday, to retain their hold on first place in the standings.
Despite outscoring the Cheetahs by four tries to three, it was an injury time conversion attempt by Ruan Pienaar, which drifted wide, that saw a possible draw slip away from the visitors and give the Cheetahs their win.
The match was intense at the start and unbearably tense at the finish as the Sharks made their third big comeback of a thriller that at times was deadly dull.
The lesson from the match was that it is better to keep the ball in hand than kick it away. Kicking there was - plenty of kicking, plenty of aimless kicking but when a side suddenly decided that it was after all a handling game, not just gaining ground, thrilling rugby broke out.
Because there was so much kicking in the game, there were few scrums - just 11 in all. Because so much of the kicking was downfield hoofing, there were also fewer line-outs than usual - 25 in all and most of them generated by penalties kicked for tries.
The Cheetahs had six five-metre line-outs from penalties and scored their only three tries in the match from them.
There were many penalties - 16-12 in favour of the Cheetahs and it was that close as the Sharks attacked in frenzied fashion at the end and the Cheetahs conceded penalties ion desperate defence. The Cheetahs conceded five penalties - and a yellow card - in the last two minutes, and the Sharks got their fourth try three minutes into injury time, leaving Ruan Pienaar with a nerve-wracking conversion from just five metres in from touch.
What a finish! Down 37-30 with six minutes to play the Sharks hurled themselves into the attack, left and right as the Cheetahs stood resolute in their version of the Maginot line.
Waylon Murray dummied and sped down the left with Odwa Ndungane in support but Eddie Frederick jumped on Murray from behind felling him seven or eight metres from the line. The Sharks made a penalty into a five-metre line-out. They mauled and their mauling produced another penalty.
They tapped and battered.
This produced another penalty because the Cheetahs were not back 10 metres. This time, with two minutes to play, the Sharks opted for a scrum. The defence moved forward as the crowd screamed in anguished support of the Cheetahs. Gradually they pushed the Sharks back further and further from their line till they were over the 22, nobody giving a tackling inch.
The siren went to tell the world that time was up.
Again the Cheetahs were penalised, and again the Sharks tapped. This time they went right to JP Pietersen and Ndungane. They were stopped and Philip Burger was penalised and sent to the sin bin. The Sharks tapped and charged and then they went wide to the left. Ryan Kankowski was stopped right at the line but keen Keegan Daniel was there to get the ball and spin in the low tackle to score the try.
The try was not immediately obvious and the referee referred the matter to the television match official, adding greatly to the drama.
Then the referee could not hear the television match official, till eventually the message got through. "It was a try."
That left the conversion. Missed, the Cheetahs got four point, the Sharks two.
But what a frantic finish!
It was a sunny, warm day in Bloemfontein - spring at 28 degrees Celsius. When the final whistle went the temperature must have been much, much higher.
The Sharks scored first when Hendrik Meyer was judged to have tackled late and Pienaar goaled after just two minutes. There was a good crowd in to boo the Free State-bred Shark. There was no sympathy for the other Old Grey Sharks, François Steyn and Bismarck du Plessis either.
Mind you Du Plessis has, it seems, disciplinary problems and could have been suspected of being a fifth columnist as he contrived two late tackles in the first half which gave the Cheetahs six points.
His first late tackle made the score 3-3 and then Ndungane transgressed at a tackle and Willem de Waal of the elegant boot made it 56-3 to the Cheetahs.
From the second of two five-metre line-outs the Cheetahs got their drive right and young hooker Richardt Strauss was the one credited with the try. 11-3.
There was a loot of kicking going on till the Cheetahs let one bounce and prop BJ Botha got the ball on the Sharks' right. They went left where the Cheetahs were heavy forwards and Pietersen was up in the line to set Adrian Jacobs running free down the left. He played inside to Ndungane, who had been having a rickety game up till then, and the wing strode over for a try at the posts. 11-10 to the Cheetahs after 20 minutes.
Bismarck's second late tackle halted the Sharks' comeback as De Waal goaled. 44-10.
The Cheetahs mauled from a line-out but when that was stopped De Waal kicked a low, meagre dropped goal to make the score 17-10.
Pienaar then kicked one from in front and them missed one from in front when near disaster hit the Sharks.
Pietersen chipped but young JW Jonker, on for Alwyn Hollenbach, charged the chip down, gathered and sped down the touch-line on his left, the try looking certain. But Steyn game across, collared Jonker and hauled him into touch. The try was saved but Steyn was penalised for the tackle to the collar and two more five-metre line-outs ensued.
For the second the Cheetahs threw deep, mauled and came back to the left where Jannie du Plessis barged past two defenders, stretched and scored.
Thought the Cheetahs had scored Johan Muller was still sent to the sin bin for collapsing a maul. The referee allowed advantage and the Cheetahs scored but Muller's offence still counted.
That made the score 24-13 at half-time. The Cheetahs deserved the lead as they had done more with the ball than the Sharks had.
The second half started with another outbreak of gaining ground till Steyn tried to run out of defence. The Sharks were getting the ball back but BJ Botha was penalise for playing the obstructive pillar and De Waal goaled. 27-13 after 42 minutes. Were the Cheetahs racing away?
The Sharks had the ball just inside their own half and looked like going nowhere till Ryan Kankowski, like Ulysses sailing between Scylla and Charybdis, sped between Jannie and Ollie and raced 50 metres or more on a diagonal going left to score a wonderful try far out. From far out Pienaar converted. 27-20.
At this stage Muller returned from temporary exile.
The Sharks were now having the better of the play. First Pienaar goaled a penalty and then after many phases Steyn missed with a drop. He dropped because the phases had used up all the Shark attackers.
After Pienaar had missed a penalty goal from in front, the game again lapsed into gaining ground./ All teams have dips but it is better to get out of the dip with ball in hand and a general tightening of effort than mindless booting. One of the guilty kickers was Pienaar, such a good and talented player but rather spoiling his game this time.
The Sharks were the first to pull themselves together and what a change it made. A kickable penalty became a five-metre line-out on their right and they drove and drove at the line till the ball came out and a horrible pass turned to gold for them. Pienaar sling a bouncing ball to his left. There were three players near the horrible bounce - two Cheetahs and a Shark. Murray the Shark acted with alacrity, grabbed the ball and wove his way over under the posts.
Suddenly, incredibly, the Sharks led 30-27 with 19 minutes to play.
Now it was the Cheetahs' turn to play with the ball in hand, and in so doing shot up out of a morass of indifference. A kickable penalty became a five-metre line-out and then another. For the second they threw the ball to the front and raced the maul over for a try credited to Rory Duncan.
De Waal converted as a matter of course. 34-30 to the Cheetahs with 12 minutes to play. After Pienaar had been penalised for being off-side, De Waal made it 37-30 with those agonising six minutes still to play.
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Strauss, Du Plessis, Van der Merwe
Cons: De Waal 2
Pens: De Waal 5
DG: De Waal
For the Sharks:
Tries: Ndungane, Kankowski 2, Murray
Cons: Pienaar 3
Pens: Pienaar 3
Yellow cards: Johan Muller (Sharks, 38 - repeated offences), Philip Burger (Cheetahs, 80
Vodacom Cheetahs: 15 Bevin Fortuin 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 Alwyn Hollenbach, 12 Hendrik Meyer, 11 Gaffie du Toit, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Darron Nell, 7 Bian Vermaak, 6 Ryno van der Merwe, 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 Rory Duncan, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Ollie le Roux (captain).
Replacements: 16 Jaco du Toit, 17 Kobus Caldo, 18 Kabamba Floors, 19 Heinrich Brussouw, 20 Falie Oelschig, 21 JW Jonker, 22 Philip Burger
Sharks: 15 JP Pietersen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Bradley Barritt, 11 Adrian Jacobs, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jacques Botes, 6 Warren Britz (captain), 5 Johann Muller, 4 Johan Ackermann, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Kees Lensing.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Keegan Daniel,
20 Scott Mathie, 21 Andries Strauss, 22 Brent Russell
Referee: Willie Roos (Golden Lions)
Touch judges: Jerome America (Western Province), Mandla Dakuse (Border)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (Eastern Province)
The Cheetahs won an enthralling Currie Cup match in Bloemfontein on Saturday but this one went down to the wire as the Sharks camped out on their doorstep for most of the second half and only a missed conversion by Ruan Pienaar saved the home team from a draw.
The Sharks attacked like men possessed and managed a try by replacement Keegan Daniels in the dying minutes but Pienaar could not convert the try and the home team could heave a big sigh of relief.
The Cheetahs’ Willem de Waal was again the difference between winning and loosing, kicking two conversions, five penalties and a drop goal.
For the home team, scoring all three tries through their forwards, that being Jannie du Plessis, Richard Strauss and Ryno van der Merwe, their backline play let them down at crucial times and the well anticipated roll of big centres Hendrik Meyer and Alwyn Hollenbach did regrettably not materialize.
Kabamba Floors again made a huge impression when he came on and with his bullocking runs the Sharks’ defence was well and truly tested.
But hats off to the Sharks for coming back in the manner that they did and that down in Bloemfontein in searing heat and a rock hard surface. They really gave it their all and had the Cheetahs scampering to plug the holes in the last twenty minutes, attacking feverishly and were rewarded with Daniels’ well worked try.
Cheetahs: Tries: Richard Straus, Jannie du Plessis, Ryno van der merwe. Conversions: Willem de Waal (2). Penalties: De Waal (5). Drop: De Waal.
Sharks: Tries: Odwa Ndungane, Ryan Kankowski, Waylon Murray, Keegan Daniel. Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (3). Penalties: Pienaar (3).
Saturday 23 September 2006
Ruan Pienaar missed a last-minute conversion to hand a 37-35 victory to the Vodacom Cheetahs in an enthralling Absa Currie Cup match.
The Sharks take two bonus-points from the Bloemfontein game and that might be enough to secure their place in the play-offs, but a home semi-final is now unlikely.
The Cheetahs defended valiantly all game and an unstructured Sharks team never seemed to get any momentum.
It was predicted that both sides would looked to suppress their natural attacking instincts and keep the game tight for the first twenty minutes. They defied those predictions and the match opened with a frenetic pace and intensity.
Pienaar’s early penalty was cancelled out by two from Willem de Waal, before the home side crossed for the opening try of the match. Ollie Le Roux opted to go for touch from a penalty in the Sharks 22m area and the Cheetahs’ rolling maul devastated the Sharks forwards as they drove over for Richardt Strauss to score.
The Sharks though were showing significant improvements in all facets of play and a period of sustained pressure saw them quickly draw to within one point. Eighthman Ryan Kankowski fielded a return punt in his 22 and launched an up-and-under which BJ Botha collected. Pienaar showed fine awareness to swing the ball to his left and in doing so exposed a scattered defence. Quick hands by the backline left Odwa Ndungane with a clear run and he scored under the posts. Pienaar’s second penalty made it a three-point game.
One letdown was the amount of kicking that both side’s done for much of the game. It seemed as if coaches Rassie Erasmus and Dick Muir had instructed their teams to punt for territory and play in the opposition half, which spoiled the running rugby spectacle this game was billed as.
De Waal stretched his side’s lead to seven points as he slotted another penalty and a wobbly drop goal, before the Cheetahs scored three minutes from the break. The try was a carbon copy of the first, as the rolling maul once again proved the bane of the Sharks, Jannie du Plessis breaking off the back to score.
With Johann Muller yellow-carded for collapsing the maul that resulted in Du Plessis try, the Sharks were under huge pressure from the outset of the second-half. But far from just hanging, they proceeded to claw their way back into the game.
Ryan Kankowski scored an sensational try as he collected at stand-off and side-stepped the cover defence to streak away on a 30m break which left the Cheetahs defenders grasping at his heels. Pienaar’s conversion and a 50th minute penalty made the score 27-24 before a Waylon Murray try sent the Sharks ahead.
The match opened up with both teams creating opportunities, but it would be yet another Cheetahs drive close to the line that proved to be the decisive score, Ryno van der Merwe touching down on this occasion.
An almighty Sharks attack ensued, with the host’s conceding a plethora of penalties. The pressure eventually paid off when Keegan Daniel corkscrewed his way out of a tackle and desperately reach over the line for the bonus-point try.
But Ruan Pienaar skewed his kick horribly and despite a valiant effort and much improved performance the, Sharks now find their semi-final dreams in jeopardy.
Cheetahs - Tries: Richardt Strauss, Jannie du Plessis,Ryno van der Merwe. Conversion: Willem de Waal (2). Penalties: Willem de Waal (5) Drop goal: De Waal
Sharks - Tries: Odwa Ndungane, Ryan Kankowski, Waylon Murray, Keegan Daniel. Conversions: Pienaar (3). Penalties: Ruan Pienaar (3).
By Ryan Vrede
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