The Sharks comfortably disposed of the Force 37-12 in Durban on Saturday.
But, in a fairly undistinguished game, the hosts will be disappointed that they didn’t gain a bonus point.
Who was the star in this match?
21-year-old Sharks wing Sbu Nkosi made an excellent Super Rugby debut. He was denied a try when he showed a fine sidestep to score but there was a forward pass in the movement. The former Baby Bok also defended superbly. But it was his Under-20 teammate, centre Jeremy Ward that continued his good form. His moment of magic put the Sharks in the lead and his deft footwork led to Curwin Bosch’s try too. Ward is also a good organiser in midfield.
Key events and themes
- Despite the comfortable scoreline, the Sharks will feel a tad disappointed. This was a game where a bonus point was ripe for the taking. But their inexperience meant they simply didn’t capitalise. They butchered a certain try early in the second half when Bosch didn’t pass and a knock by replacement hooker Franco Marais stopped a promising move in injury time in its tracks.
- Not the first time this season, the Sharks started slowly at home through a combination of poor handling and decision-making. However, instead of panicking, they kept their cool and Force centre Curtis Rona’s yellow card gave them a foothold.
- Following that sin-binning, Ward jinxed his way over from close range before Lukhanyo Am’s cheeky kick forward was gathered for flank Jean-Luc du Preez to score. It gave the Sharks an unassailable lead.
- Given their overall dominance, it was heartening how the Sharks didn’t lose structure on defence. They still had to make 153 tackles and only missed 13.
- As has become apparent for some time now, the depth in Australian rugby is poor. The Force really weren’t much of a threat for most of this game.
Sharks – Tries: Jeremy Ward, Jean-Luc du Preez, Curwin Bosch, Lukhanyo Am. Conversions: Bosch (3), Pat Lambie. Penalties: Bosch (3).
Force – Try: James Verity-Amm, Marcel Brache. Conversion: Ian Prior.