Monday, May 19, 2008
The Natal Sharks secured their place in this years Super 14 Semi Final on Saturday with a clinical 47-25 win over the Chiefs in Durban.
The seven tries to three victory not only booked the Sharks' place in the play-offs, after they finished third in the standings, but they also knocked their compatriots, the Stormers, out of the semifinals.
To advance the Sharks needed to win with four tries or win by 18 points. They scored six tries and won by 22 points, despite the score being 21-18 after 46 minutes.
One of the tries of the match came from thoroughbred Sharks number eight Ryan Kankowski. Kankowski is fast becoming a legend of Kingspark down in Durban, and will surely be a Springbok starter against Wales in the upcoming test series.
The Chiefs were on the attack when big substitute loose forward Jean Deysel marked a chip ahead. The big man tapped and ran, selling a dummy as he pounded up the field. He gave to Ruan Pienaar who dazzled the Chiefs defence before he gave to Kankowski who scored over 80 metres down field.
The Sharks are hitting their straps right on time, and if they continue to perform like they did on Saturday, we may well see them in the Final for the second consecutive year.
Note: Please excuse the useless commentary on the replay. It's not Jean Du Plessis as Garth Wright says - it is in fact Jean Deysel.