The Sharks delivered a fine performance in beating the Stormers 22-10 at Kings Park on Saturday.
It wasn’t the greatest of games in general but it was interesting to see again how the home side keep winning games by keeping things relatively simple.
That said, they were assisted hugely by a wayward Stormers side.
Who was the star in this match?
The stock of 21-year-old Sharks winger S’bu Nkosi keeps rising rapidly. Despite his match-winning try, the rookie is constantly looking for work, defends well and even poached two Stormers balls. He’s an exciting prospect.
Key themes and events
- The Sharks continued to show that their more practical way of playing isn’t out of fashion in Super Rugby. Strong defending remains the cornerstone of their approach and, while their attacking play can still be more refined, they took their chances well without taking undue risks.
- One notable feature of the home side’s performance was how they targeted the Stormers line-out. Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit dominate most opposition as a pair but they lost twice on their own throw through the Sharks’ excellent anticipation and poaching skill.
- The moment of the match was undoubtedly Nkosi’s try. Despite the Stormers’ weak defending in midfield, the set-move from the line-out was still superb. The ball was quickly won and well distributed before the young winger sidestepped brilliantly and showed great pace.
- Except for a promising first 10 minutes after half-time, the Stormers were strangely impotent and error-prone on the attack. It was arguably their poorest performance of the season and that includes their horrible tour of New Zealand.
- Sharks centre and new Bok inclusuion Lukhanyo Am suffered cruel luck when he didn’t return for the second half. The medical staff suspects he’s suffered a broken jaw and that would put him out of the Boks’ series against France. Everyone involved will hope the diagnosis is better than that.
Sharks – Tries: Johan Deysel, Stephan Lewies, S’bu Nkosi. Conversions: Garth April (2). Penalty: April.
Stormers – Try: SP Marais. Conversion: Marais. Penalty: Marais.