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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Natal Sharks win the Currie Cup 2008

Natal Sharks win the Currie Cup 2008

The Natal Sharks lifted the Currie Cup on Saturday for the first time in 12 years as they beat the Blue Bulls 14-9 in a tight and physical contest in Durban at a packed Kingspark.

The home side were deserved winners, outscoring the Blue Bulls by two tries to nil. The home crowd were on the edge of their seats with less than a minute to go though, as the Bulls had possession and looked like they were on their way to repeating the last gasp win in the Super 14 final of 2007.

The Sharks held on, and the Kingspark faithfal erupted as the star studded side finally achieved what many of them have been targeting for so long.

Comeback king Stefan Terblanche, perhaps the forgotten man of SA rugby had a sterling season at fullback and was unlucky to be excluded from the Sprinbok squad announcement that followed the match. He himself confessed that the long wait was well worth it, with winning the Currie Cup being one of his lifelong dreams.

That dream kicked into action twenty three minutes in when Ruan Pienaars typical dart for the line resulted in a handy seven point cushion. The second Sharks try came from some fancy footwork by Frederic Michalak and composed class by Terblanche, as they sent Francois Steyn diving over for the try.

Morne Steyn kept things close with two penalties and a drop goal, but it was the Sharks who held on to win in a most memorable of finals, perhaps not so much for the running display of both sides, but for the pure grunt and commitment shown all round.

Michalak himself, if we're not mistaken, is now only the second Frenchman (after Thierry Lacroix in 1996) to win both a Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere championship.

Time: 06:31
Note:
Apologies for the poor audio 

Posted at 3:26 pm | 19 comments

Viewing 19 comments

mitch October 28, 2008 5:10 pm

well done well earned

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Shaft October 28, 2008 7:11 pm

Sharks you legends. If anyone saw the game, that ankle tap by Michalak on Habana was incredible. Happened so fast.. but it was immense. A try saver for sure.

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nico October 28, 2008 7:21 pm

Yep. Well earned indeed. MIchalak is actually the third French player to win the cup. Thierry Lacroix and Olivier Roumat did it - if I'm correct - in 1996.

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nico October 28, 2008 7:37 pm

actually, Michalak won indeed both the H-Cup and the Currie Cup. While Lacroix and Roumat got the Currie, I don't think that they won the European Cup. So Freddie may be the first French player to do both - if I'm correct. Nuff said about the French. Well done Sharks. :-)

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Ben October 28, 2008 9:16 pm

French players rock ;)

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Disco October 28, 2008 9:30 pm

The Currie Cup is a single country's cup. Howlett's achievement is greater than that of Michalak as in terms of doubles, Freddie has won national cups in France and South Africa. Howlett has won the Northern Hemisphere's elite club competition as well as that of the Southern Hemisphere.Roumat also got a double (although unlike Michalak, never won the European cup, only the Bouclier Brennus and the Currie Cup with Biarritz and Natal respectively).Laurent Cabannes came close, winning the French Championship in 1990 and playing for Western Province in 95 but fell short in SA and was beaten by Sharks (and Lacroix and Roumat) in the Currie Cup.

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The Self-Proclaimed October 29, 2008 12:25 am

Great game. I've always wondered though - perhaps it's my limited exposure to SA rugby talking, but is it always the same commentator on the mic? What's his name?Also, why isn't Steyn kicking for the Sharks? I saw him at the WC final and he was absolutely amazing! 50-60 m out in practise and he made them perfectly.

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Anonymous October 29, 2008 3:49 am

Congrats Sharks

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Benson October 29, 2008 10:06 am

The self proclaimed wordsmith (quite a title btw)...The guy you're thinking of is Hugh Bladen. No, he doesn't do all games, but he does do the biggest, so maybe that's why you keep hearing him.Steyn kinda specialises in the longer kicks these days. He had an attempt from about 55m which he missed, but it was very similar to the WC final kick. The Sharks have a lot of good goal kickers, so I guess the thinking is, keep the pressure off young Steyn.

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Anonymous October 29, 2008 10:17 am

Where's the try-saving ankle tap on Habana?

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Anonymous October 29, 2008 12:58 pm

The ankle tap happened during a damned break in transimission, so in SA if you werent at the game you missed it.Sky viewers got to see it

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tehsniper October 29, 2008 4:20 pm

Michalak's ankle tap is so missing. Without it the sharks would have lost

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durrie October 29, 2008 4:34 pm

SHARKS YOU BEAUTIES!!!It was our time this year and we had more in form players than those pesky Bulls.Great game though...not as boring as the S14 Final last year at the same ground...I'm a happy sharks fan right now...just hope PdV has learned a little from his pi$$ poor 3N and will do beeter for the Boks the Winter tour!

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Anonymous October 30, 2008 6:02 am

Awesome stuff. It's great to see Steyn continue to improve and the prospect of Michalak back in form is pretty exciting. More european players should try playing a bit down south.

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ysm October 30, 2008 4:37 pm

Steyn, Pienaar and Kankowski are the future of SA rugby

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Anonymous October 30, 2008 9:46 pm

GO SHARKS!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous October 30, 2008 9:52 pm

Michalak is the third french players who win the currie cup, after Olivier Roumat and Thierry Lacroix

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Anonymous November 01, 2008 7:01 pm

Thanks for this link guys.Please keep it up.Pity about this SANZAR ruling, there are lots of us interested in this footage.

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Anonymous November 01, 2008 7:05 pm

Thanks for this link guys.Please keep it up.Pity about this SANZAR ruling, there are lots of us interested in this footage.

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