Rebels mauled in Shark frenzy
Brenden Nel
March 23, 2013

The Sharks returned to winning ways with a 10-try massacre of the Melbourne Rebels, beating them 64-7 in their Vodacom Super Rugby game in Durban on Saturday.

In a match which was one-sided until the 60th minute, when the Sharks went off the boil and played players out of position, the home side shrugged off their poor performance against the Brumbies the week before to score almost at will in the first hour.

The poor Rebels had little reply to the Sharks' onslaught, and showed that while there may be five franchises in Australian rugby, apart from the Brumbies and Reds at the moment, the others are not really in the same league as some of the more consistent sides in Super Rugby.

The Sharks penetrated with almost every attack, found their momentum early on and through some great performances by the likes of Kyle Cooper, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Keegan Daniel, Tendai Mtawarira and Cobus Reinach, ensured a solid victory to satisfy their fans.

The Rebels will be happy they only have two games in South Africa, but they will have to regroup before heading to Bloemfontein to take on the Cheetahs next week.

The massacre started when Daniel found a gap early on, and through some great support play saw Louis Ludick open the scoring in the sixth minute.


Despite some indifferent kicking by Pat Lambie in difficult windy conditions, the Sharks powered their way over the line for their second try on the back of a lineout drive, with Marcel Coetzee emerging at the bottom of the pile.

Reinach received an iffy yellow card for lifting a player above the horizontal, and while the incident seemed only worth a penalty, it didn’t stop the Sharks as they powered to their bonus point before halftime with just 14 players on the field.

Another lineout drive saw Jacques Botes power his way over for try No 3 and Daniel added the fourth with a deft step to beat two defenders.

The second half may have brought hope to the Rebels, but instead the Sharks snuffed this out a minute in when the impressive Cooper broke and ran 30 metres for a lovely individual try.

Thereafter it was simply a calculation as to how high the score would go, and Reinach made up for his card as he intercepted a loose pass to run 60 metres for the try.

Mtawarira, Ryan Kankowski, Ludick and Riaan Viljoen all added their names to the scoresheet before the flood of replacements came on.

With players out of position and nothing more to play for, the Sharks lost momentum, and the Rebels eventually got one back through Scott Higginbotham to ensure they had something for their troubles of travelling to Durban.

But that try was never going to do anything more than trouble the scorers as the Sharks ensured they reminded the rest of the competition that they simply had an off week against the Brumbies, and that they were back with a vengeance.

Sharks - Tries: Louis Ludik (2), Marcell Coetzee, Jacques Botes, Keegan Daniel, Kyle Cooper, Cobus Reinach, Tendai Mtwarira, Ryan Kankowski, Riaan Viljoen. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2), Meyer Bosman (5).
Melbourne Rebels - Try: Scott Higginbotham. Conversion: James O`Connor.