NEWS ARTICLES
James edges Sharks home
Brenden Nel
supersport.com
October 04, 2013

Sharks replacement Butch James kicked a 78th-minute penalty to allow his side to sneak home an 18-16 win over the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld and remain at the top of the Absa Currie Cup standings.

In a game which was littered with mistakes, and hardly one for the ages, James made up for the yellow card he got at the same ground in Vodacom Super Rugby this year, and slotted the easiest of kicks to see his team home in an ill-mannered affair.

But they had to overcome two yellow cards in the process and an unhappy relationship with referee Marius van der Westhuizen to get home and keep themselves on course to finish top of the log and gain an elusive home semi and possibly final.

The Bulls did score the only try of the match – during a 10-point surge when Jean Deysel was off the field – but were nowhere near street-smart enough to get on top on the night and will once again rue a game they could have won.

The decisive penalty came from a ruck where Paul Willemse looked to have gotten to the ball first, but was adjudged not to be supporting his own weight, allowing James to simply stab the ball home for the victory.

On the night the Sharks were the better side, but they really made heavy weather of their early advantage as flyhalf Fred Zeilinga missed two easy opening shots before getting his team on the board.

While both sides tries desperately to attack, the mistakes abounded and left the first half as a ding-dong affair between Zeilinga and Handre Pollard’s boots.

Of course, the Bulls may well rue the fact that they didn’t take two early kickable penalties, but Pollard also missed an easy chance in front of the posts on a difficult night for the kickers.

Zeilinga had the Sharks 12-6 up – with the Bulls failing to capitalise from Jacques Botes’s 10 minutes on the sideline for repeated infringements – before the second yellow to Deysel – also for repeated infringements – evened things up.

The Bulls attacked directly, before spinning the ball to midfielder Francois Venter, who burrowed between three defenders to plant the ball over the line, and Pollard’s conversion put the Bulls ahead.

Another Pollard penalty made it a fou- point ball game before James pulled it back to a one-point match with less than 10 minutes to go.

But despite their fightback, the Bulls were on the back foot when the Sharks put the phases together and the penalty came eventually, giving James a chance to right his own wrong from a few months ago.

He made no mistake, giving the Bulls no happiness for their fightback, and probably ending their Currie Cup hopes this year.

The home side have one more chance next week when they face Free State in Bloemfontein, but it is unlikely. With too many points dropped at home, and a young side that has struggled to sustain any momentum in the competition, this might be as good as it gets for the Bulls.

SCORERS

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Try: Francois Venter. Conversion: Handre Pollard. Penalties: Pollard (3).

Sharks – Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (4), Butch James (2).

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - KZN Fidelity Security Moor Cup
Thursday, July 24 2014
20:00 - FNB UKZN Impi vs SA Home Loans Durban Collegians
Peter Booysen Park, UKZN Pietermaritzburg Campus
Inter Provincial Women B
Friday, July 25 2014
12:00 - Leopards vs Griquas
Profert Olen Park, Potch
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - Mpumalanga Leagues
Saturday, July 26 2014
00:00 - Winner QF1 vs Winner QF3
2014 Commonwealth Games
09:32 - New Zealand vs Canada
Vodacom Super Rugby
09:35 - Crusaders vs Cell C Sharks
AMI Stadium, Addington, Christchurch
2014 Commonwealth Games
09:54 - Australia vs Sri Lanka
10:16 - Kenya vs Cook Islands
Absa Under 19 Competition
11:00 - Sharks U19 vs WP U19
Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban

Copyright 2011 - SARU. All Rights Reserved.