The Sharks under-19 recorded a 25-23 victory against Western Province under-19 in an awesome match.
This was the Sharks under-19’s first win over Western Province since 2013 and was made possible with the help no fewer than 9 former Western Cape schoolboys in their 23-man squad.
On home soil, the Sharks almost got off to a sensational start when scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba’s penalty shot at goal rebounded off the upright and back into play, where kick chaser DJ Falconer, a centre who’s thriving at the Sharks and gaining in national prominence, nearly capitalized on the situation. The ball just came out of his grasp as he attempted to collect it and cross the white chalk.
The hosts didn’t have to wait too much longer after that for the first of their three tries. Initial good work by flank Dylan Richardson off the side of a ruck and then by prop James Scott on a carry up the middle, laid the groundwork for the home team to challenge a disjointed defence. Western Province still had a last chance to close down the attack but thinking inside centre Murray Koster ended those hopes with an improvised two-handed basketball like lob pass over the defender who had smartly taken up the space between him and no.8 Pepsi Buthelezi stationed out on the right wing. The mobile 8 crossed near the corner to give the Sharks a 5-0 lead.
The match was characterized by WP’s ability to retain the ball using some sound basic rugby tactics. Their ball transfers and support play was great and although they weren’t overly dependent on any particular ball carrier, compliments must go to impressive big lock Ian Kitwanga, openside flank Bevan Prinsloo and inside centre Waqar Solaan, who definitely didn’t disappoint as fervent ball runners.
Province came at the Sharks in waves of attack but for the most part the home team’s defence stood up to the test. Big Sharks lock JJ van der Mescht silenced a few critics with his visibility on defence. His manhandling of Kitwanga in a play near the halfway was certainly a memorable moment that perked up the home supporters and throughout the game he remind the opposition of his physical presence.
Sharks opensider Vian Fourie lived the typical life of a pilferer. A penalty won inside his own 22, ended WP’s first threatening attack but a bit later he was pinged for one of those marginal no daylight calls. Province attempted to tap ‘n go quickly but the Sharks did not retreat the 10m, moving the penalty to within suitable range for flyhalf and kicker Chris Schreuder to land it and reduce the deficit to 5-3.
WP started to gain the ascendency. Through continuity they were establishing a good rhythm. On the backfoot, the Sharks misjudged their line-speed a few times, resulted offside calls and eventually a change in the lead as Schreuder made it 6-5.
As halftime approached, the war of attrition looked like it was beginning to take its toll on the Sharks who virtually had no ball and have to defend against constant WP attacks. The Durban based boys’ energy was being sapped and they began to slow on coming up to meet ball-carriers nearer the advantage line. Also not helping their own retention cause were the numerous silly basic handling errors, which translated to soft turnovers.
But just like that the game swung around again. A couple of penalties handed the Sharks some territory and instead of settling for the 3-points, they went to the corner. Hooker Fez Mbatha sent a perfect throw to the tail where his old schoolmate Lappies Labuschagne took a nice clean catch before the Sharks rumbled their way towards the line in formation and Vian Fourie dived over amongst the mass of bodies. Fourie’s own school days buddy, flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain took over the kicking duties, landing the conversion to send the Sharks into halftime 12-6 up.
Soon after the break the Sharks extended their lead to 15-6 via Chamberlain’s boot. In the build-up, the play that got Province backtracking was Nohamba’s good weighting on a box chip kick which flashy left wing Thaakir Abrahams sprinted after and caught once it had bounced.
When Sharks replacement wing Asanda Kunene got his foot to a turned over loose ball near halfway, which then travelled into the unguarded 22, things were looking up for the Sharks. However WP’s Schreuder didn’t panic. He gathered the ball, turned and picked a line alongside touch which allowed him to make most of the ground lost. Once his room ran out, he linked with a supporting backline player and a couple of well-timed passes later, wing Angelo Davids was in near the sticks. With Schreuder’s tap over, the Sharks lead was cut down to 15-13.
Still within the first 10-minutes of the second half, the Sharks pushed their lead out to 9 points again. A high hit on Sharks fullback Muller du Plessis gave Nohamba a chance to take a quick tap and set off on a long damaging diagonal run. After the little scrummy was eventually brought down, the Sharks recycled the ball and worked the left side. Here powerful Richardson, who had stood out for his never-tiring work rate on defence relied on the one-dimensional “stampkar” rugby approach again and appeared to lose the ball forward in contact close to the line before regaining it over the line. The AR intervened to help the ref award a try to the Sharks. Chamberlain had a good day from the kicking tee so the acute angle was no concern to him as his extras gave his team a two-score lead of 22-13.
The Sharks then had a couple of half chances. Shortly after Abrahams’ dancing feet run up the left, Chamberlain spotted no one at home at the back and proceeded to chip and chase one, only for the bounce to favour Province. Then a little later after Fourie’s line-break set the Black and White up for bigger things, they couldn’t take full advantage of an overlap – the ball was dropped cold on the right wing with space to exploit ahead.
WP’s fullback Quan Eymann was hungry and dangerous all game long. His combination with wing Davids was the vital big ground gaining bit in the build up to the visitors’ second try. Again the continuity of the blue-hooped jerseys had to be applauded. The teamwork created a space for Zimbabwean Tonderai Chiwanbutsa to make a useful burst inside the redzone and finish, giving Scheuder another easy kick to put Province right back in it at 22-20 down.
The visitors’ ability to string together phases, lead to more sustained pressure and eventually the reward of a penalty right in front. Schreuder made no mistake and WP had the lead back at 23-22 with 12 minutes left to play.
Questions were being asked of the Sharks composure on attack as they persistently reversed their good work by gifting WP turnovers through silly mistakes. With time running out, most critical one appeared to be a knock-on after a lineout won off Province deep inside their opponent’s 22.
On the other side of the pitch, Schreuder sensed the opportunity to deliver a knockout blow but his drop goal hit the post with just 5-minutes to go.
2-minutes late WP’s disciple let them down at a Sharks lineout, when the ref decided they had interfered with the jumper.
The KP2 ground outside the Kings Park stadium momentarily felt like Ireland’s Aviva Stadium ahead of a kick at goal, as one could hear a pin drop before Boeta Chamberlain coolly slotted the 40m angled kick thanks to another well-timed strike which contained plenty of oomph! With it the Sharks regained the lead at 25-23.
WP produced one last offensive and worked the ball into the 22, where their ball-carrier was held up to form an unplayable maul, giving the Sharks the opportunity to scrum and then punt the ball off the field.
In doing so the Sharks under-19’s ended an 8-game / 4-season losing streak against Western Province.
The ground breaking 2018 Sharks u19’s are top of the table, the only unbeaten team left in the competition and are enjoying the best start to a season for the union’s entry level team this decade.
The Sharks last won the under-19 title way back in 2008.
Sharks u19 vs Western Province u19
|Sharks u19 – 2013||Western Province u19 – 2013|
|1||Stephanus Morkel||1||Wesley Adonis|
|2||Chris De Beer (Captain)||2||Chad Solomon|
|3||Bart le Roux||3||Liam Hendricks|
|4||Philip Odendaal||4||JD Schickerling|
|5||JP Grobler||5||Sebastian Negri|
|6||Thembalethu Williams||6||Johan de Villiers|
|7||Barend Potgieter||7||Luke van der Smit|
|8||Ayron Schramm||8||Ramone Samuels (Captain)|
|9||Cameron Wright||9||Pieter Schoonraad|
|10||Jean-Luc Du Plessis||10||JD Worrall|
|11||Alrin Eksteen||11||Dalen Goliath|
|12||Nkululeko Marwana||12||Michal Haznar|
|13||Wion Robbertse||13||Jarryd Sage|
|14||Michael Cloete||14||Dewald Naude|
|15||Colin Willemse||15||Christopher Smith|
|16||Roan Dalzell||16||Joshua Moon|
|17||Michael Downer||17||Michael van Tonder|
|18||Stefan van Schalkwyk||18||Nathan Gogela|
|19||Joseph Jones||19||Attie van Rensburg|
|20||Jonas Mikalcius||20||Steven Meiring|
|21||Lotter Pretorius||21||Jonathan Bredell|
|22||Riaan O’Neill||22||Wesley Cupido|
|23||Inny Radebe||23||Shane Grundlingh|
|Western Province u19 – 2013||Sharks u19 – 2013|
|1||Liam Hendricks||1||Stephanus Morkel|
|2||Chad Solomon||2||Chris De Beer (Captain)|
|3||Michael van Tonder||3||Bart le Roux|
|4||Sebastian Ferreira||4||Hendrik Botha|
|5||Jan Uys (Captain)||5||JP Grobler|
|6||Gareth de Bruin||6||Joseph Jones|
|7||Luke van der Smit||7||Barend Potgieter|
|8||Steven Meiring||8||Thembalethu Williams|
|9||SP Ferreira||9||Cameron Wright|
|10||Christopher Smith||10||Jean-Luc Du Plessis|
|11||Dalen Goliath||11||Alrin Eksteen|
|12||Jason Morris||12||Sandile Kubeka|
|13||Michael Mvelase-Julyan||13||Neil Maritz|
|14||Christiaan Mouton||14||Michael Cloete|
|15||JD Worrall||15||Colin Willemse|
|16||Ramone Samuels||16||Roan Dalzell|
|17||Nathan Gogela||17||Michael Downer|
|18||Wesley Adonis||18||Stefan van Schalkwyk|
|19||Sebastian Negri||19||Petrus Greyling|
|20||Joshua Moon||20||Jonas Mikalcius|
|21||Pieter Schoonraad||21||Lotter Pretorius|
|22||Jonathan Bredell||22||Wion Robbertse|
|23||Michal Haznar||23||Nkululeko Marwana|
|Sharks u19 – 2018||Western Province u19 – 2018|
|1||James Scott||1||Dian Bleuler|
|2||Fezokuhle Mbatha||2||Ruhann Greyling|
|3||Francois Klopper||3||Hugo Pienaar|
|4||Jeandre Labushagne||4||Ian Kitwanga|
|5||JJ van der Mescht||5||Herman Le Roux|
|6||Vian Fourie||6||Bevan Prinsloo|
|7||Dylan Richardson||7||Tonderai Chiwambutsa|
|8||Phendulani Buthelezi||8||Francke Horn|
|9||Sanele Nohamba||9||Vusile Dlepu|
|10||Henry Chamberlain||10||Christopher Schreuder|
|11||Thaakir Abrahams||11||Christian Guetang|
|12||Murray Koster||12||Waqar Solaan|
|13||Donald Falconer||13||David Kriel|
|14||Caleb Dingaan||14||Angelo Davids|
|15||Muller Du Plessis||15||Quan Eymann|
|16||Cole Haggard||16||Chris Rossouw|
|17||Adriaan Staples||17||Alexander Mbete|
|18||Dre Engelbrecht||18||James Du Preez|
|19||Armandt Conradie||19||Jean-Louis De Lange|
|20||Adam Mountfort||20||Henro Meyer|
|21||Matthew Doyle||21||Gerado Jaars|
|22||Onke Jiba||22||David Coetzer|
|23||Asanda Kunene||23||Aydon Topley|