The Sharks overcame the disadvantage of playing with 13 men for five minutes to commandingly defeat the Rebels.
The Sharks overcame the disadvantage of playing with 13 men for five minutes to commandingly defeat the Rebels 36-24 in Ballarat on Saturday.
After having been good value for their 22-10 halftime lead, the Sharks had two players yellow carded soon after each other. Just a minute into the second half, hooker Kerron van Vuuren was binned for a dangerous tackle and then five minutes later wing Madosh Tambwe was carded following multiple penalties against his team for offside.
The Rebels scored in that period when they had a two-man advantage, via No 8 Isi Naisarani, and at 22-17 it was game on. And the home team gained in confidence when the Sharks’ lineout that had been solid in the first half went to pieces.
But the Sharks showed guts to hold the ball through a 19-phase passage of play that culminated in Makazole Mapimpi wrestling over for what the referee deemed a try when despite TV evidence suggesting the contrary.
It was a bit of fortune for the Sharks and with their tails up, they nailed the game when a breakout from the Sharks line by captain Andre Esterhuizen eventually saw Mapimpi stridingover the line only for him to selflessly hand the ball to Curwin Bosch for the try.
That would have been Mapimpi’s hat-trick after he ha opened the scoring way back in the fifth minute of the game. The Rebels hit back through the ever dangerous wing Marika Koroibete before the abrasive Esterhuizen muscled over for a score.
The Sharks’ third try was timeous indeed. As the hooter was about to sound for the break, tighthead Thomas du Toit burst 30m to the line and after a few phases Bosch threw a long, wide pass to Tambwe for the try and that 12-point half time lead.
Rebels – Tries: Marika Koroibete, Isi Naisarani, Anaru Rangi. Conversions: Andrew Deegan (3). Penalty: Deegan.
Sharks – Tries: Makazole Mapimpi (2), Andre Esterhuizen, Madosh Tambwe, Curwin Bosch. Conversions: Bosch (4). Penalty: Bosch.