Sharks get first Sydney win in 19 years, but questions remain

Sharks get first Sydney win in 19 years, but questions remain

The Sharks won their first Super Rugby match since 2000 in Sydney when they beat the Waratahs 23-15 on Saturday.

The Sharks, under pressure for the first quarter, turned around at 10-all after slowly getting the better of the contest closer to halftime and continued in that vein after halftime.

However, the match changed dramatically when the home side lost lock Jed Holloway to a red card less than six minutes into the second half and the Sharks had to do without prop Thomas du Toit for ten minutes when he was yellow-carded in the same incident.

In fact, the home side were down to 13 men against 15 for seven minutes when Jack Dempsey also received his yellow-card and had only 14 players for the rest of the match duration while the Sharks had their full compliment.

It should, however, be a warning sign that the Sharks, despite the personnel advantage, lost the possession and territorial stakes in the second half. They defended well,  but on the down side they conceded too many turnovers  and also lost the ruck battle hands down to the Waratahs, 80-116.

It was tough, as two tries each, one by each team in each half, indicate. Curwin Bosch had little possession in the first 30 minutes but did what is expected with some skillful passing and options and a few good-placed kicks. He scored 13 points, but two straightforward, although longish penalties, went abegging.

There was a little more snap to the Sharks backline, and Bosch deserves a chance to build on this solid performance.

A good win, against a rather average side, and a number of questions still remain for Robert du Preez to solve.

Scorers –

Waratahs (10) 15: Tries: Jake Gordon, Bernard Foley. Conversion: Foley. Penalties: Foley.
Sharks (10) 23: Tries: Dan du Preez, Andre Esterhuizen. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalties: Bosch (3).