The Sharks have broken their losing streak in the most scrappy game of the season, in what looked like good conditions both teams made loads of mistakes. The end of the season can’t come soon enough for these two tired teams.
In a very scrappy first half both sides made plenty of mistakes – knock ons and turnovers costing both sides territory at keys times in attack. Laurie Weeks saw Red in the 28th minute when he landed a few punches on Jannie du Plessis who had struck Weeks in the back of the head.
Sithole scored the first try of the match for the Sharks in the 34th minute. The Rebels nearly struck back straight away when Jack Debreczeni was held up over the line, it didn’t take the Rebels to long with Higgenbotham crossing in the 39th minute, Debreczeni converted to make the gap just 3 points at half time.
The Sharks stuck early in the second half with Mvovo crossing in the corner in the 43rd minute. In the 50th minute the Rebels were caught napping by Williams who scored a great individual try, Cronje converted and the Sharks were out to a 15 point lead.
Higginbotham crossed again in the 59th minute when he found some room down the middle, good to see Higgers finding some form in this world cup year. The following 20 minutes of the half left a lot to be desired, the Rebels made way to many unforced errors and really could have come away with the win if they had just kept ball in hand rather than try force the off load.
The Sharks scored another 3 points in the 72nd minute to increase the lead to 11 points, the Rebels still not giving up scored a third try of the night with Bryce Hegarty crossing under the posts after a good break from Higginbotham. Debreczeni converted and Rebels where back to within 4 points.
The Sharks nearly had a 4th in the 76th minute when they put a nice chip kick through towards the corner that Pietersen just knocked on short of the line.
When the Final whistle blew the Sharks had held on by 4 points.
The Game Changer
Laurie Weeks Red Card, left the Rebels down a man for a long period of the game. At times you would have thought both teams had equal numbers, so I really think this red card has cost us the game.
The G&GR MOTM
Scott Higginbotham, was his best game of 2015 and clearly the stand out player for the Rebels. Hopefully he can continue playing like this in the final two rounds of the Season.
He won his place in the Wallabies squad tonight.
Sean McMahon played well in the first 30 minutes before being subbed to bring on a prop.
Toby Smith had a very solid game, scrummed well and was the stand out in the front row in my view.
Jack Debreczeni continues to grow and could really be considered to be fast tracked into the Wallabies squad, plays very similar to Foley but has a stronger kicking game.
Score & Scorers
Tries: Sithole, Mvovo, Williams
Conversions: Cronje 2
Penalties: Cronje 2
Tries: Higgenbotham 2, Hegarty
Conversions: Debreczeni 3
Cards & citings
Laurie Weeks Red
Jannie Du Plesssis Yellow