Sharks down Bulls in Durban
February 15, 2014
Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit hits the Bulls' defence
© Getty Images
A last-gasp Patrick Lambie try earned the Sharks a bonus point as they outplayed fellow South Africans the Bulls 31-16 on Saturday in their Super Rugby opener.
Fly-half Lambie dotted down on 83 minutes after sustained pressure as the home side made a perfect start under new coach Jake White. A 2007 World Cup winner as Springboks coach, White moved to Durban after guiding the Brumbies to the final last year. And many pundits are predicting the "special one" of rugby union could go a step further this season and steer three-time runners-up the Sharks to glory.
The Durban outfit, with a new skipper in Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis, looked good as they scored three first-half tries en route to a 23-9 half-time advantage.
The Bulls, with 36-year-old lock Victor Matfield coming on in the second half after more than two years in the competitive cold, came within 10 points eight minutes from time. But they could not get the score that could have given them a bonus point and the late sin-binning of left-wing Bjorn Basson was followed by the Lambie try.
Matfield's second-half entry was in line with the Bulls' claim that he will be used "sparingly", and needs more game time before a fair assessment can be made.
Success before a large, appreciative crowd at Kings Park in Durban took the Sharks to the top of the South African conference with five points.
The Sharks secured a bonus-point in their Super Rugby opener against the Bulls (Australia only)
Communication error please reload the page.
Andy Murray secured his place at the ATP World Tour Finals in London with a commanding victory against Grigor Dimitrov, the man who ended his Wimbledon title defence in the quarter-finals at SW19 last July
Ireland have been dealt yet another injury blow with news that Connacht tighthead Nathan White has been ruled out of the autumn internationals
Jules Bianchi's family say he remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital but "continues to fight" against the injuries sustained at the Japanese Grand Prix
Bath's blockbuster recruit Sam Burgess is putting no immediate timescale on when he will be fit to make his eagerly-awaited rugby union debut
Stuart Broad believes he is on track to return for England in the one-day triangular series with Australia and India ahead of the World Cup