The Sharks will face the Crusaders in Christchurch this coming weekend in the Super Rugby semi finals after a pulsating 31-27 victory over the Highlanders in the qualifier. Both sides scored great tries, so here is a look at the best of them ahead of the semis.
The Sharks came from behind twice, as the Highlanders scored some excellent tries, most notably on the stroke of halftime from prop forward Kane Hames.
“I’m very proud of the way they came back,” said coach Jake White said afterwards. “I thought the last 20 minutes we played really well. It was some of our best rugby in terms of linking our forwards and backs. I think when you get a win like you did last week with 34 points and then 31 against the Highlanders, it’s a great way to take momentum into the last couple of rounds.
“It’s a great lesson for all the boys here to understand just how tough this knockout stage is. The Highlanders are a quality team, probably the best team in the competition to counterattack from broken play,” White said ahead of the semi final.
South African teams heading overseas for playoffs have struggled in the past, with teams from the Republic playing nine knock-out matches in New Zealand and losing all of them.
The Sharks however have already beaten the Crusaders away this season, with 14 men, so White feels that if they play well enough, they can do it again.
“I’m a big believer that this group of players can beat anybody, and we’ve beaten both the Crusaders and Waratahs already this season.”
Kickoff in the Crusaders vs Sharks Semi Final is at 19:35 local, 07:35 GMT, 09:35 CEST
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