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Friday, August 17, 2012

Paul Jordaan and Craig Burden spark Sharks win over Western Province

The Sharks came from behind to beat Western Province 25-23 in the opening round of the 2012 Currie Cup at Newlands. The try of the game came from young Paul Jordaan, and there were also two great efforts from hooker Craig Burden.

It was effectively a rematch of the Super Rugby semi final game between the Stormers and the Sharks, although both sides were missing some big players due to Springbok duty.

The Sharks came away from Cape Town with the points despite trailing 13-3 at half time. The game changed within minutes of the restart as Jordaan, the Sevens star that finished well against the Reds a few weeks back, dashed away for a stunning try.

It was a tense win in trying conditions, but the Sharks took their chances well, including two opportunistic tries from speedy hooker Craig Burden.

"Any win here is special but we were a bit lucky tonight, we had a couple of nice bounces and we weren't very accurate but we took a few opportunities that were presented to us," said coach John Plumtree, referring to the fact that all three tries came from kicks.

Burden, who will start most games while Bismarck Du Plessis is busy with the Springboks, scored two quick tries after good chases. The former wingers speed was impressive, but Plumtree wants him to work harder on his main duties.

"His core skills need to tidy up a little bit, we weren't very good with our scrummaging tonight and obviously there were a few line-outs that didn't go our way as well," said Plumtree.

"In phase play he is outstanding, like you saw if the bounce of the ball goes his way in space he is quick and that is what we saw tonight but he is not entirely happy with his game and nor am I, but he will get some opportunities," he added.

Flyhalf Riaan Viljoen, who put in the delicate chip for Jordaan's try, struck the decisive blow as he landed a drop goal with a few minutes left on the clock.

All three tries are included below, with Jordaan's first, then Burden's two featured in the second

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