DURBAN May 27 Wing Sibusiso Nkosi scored a fine solo try as the Sharks produced a colossal defensive effort to defeat the Stormers 22-10 in their Super Rugby clash at King’s Park on Saturday.
The Sharks also scored tries through centre Johan Deysel and lock Stephan Lewies, but it was their defensive display that stood out as they repelled their visitors on numerous occasions with a near impenetrable wall.
The Stormers’ only try of the game was scored by fullback SP Marais, who also kicked a conversion and a penalty.
Both sides remain on course for the quarter-finals, though the Stormers could have booked their playoff place with a point.
Flyhalf Garth April handed the home side the lead with an early penalty and they extended that advantage to eight points when Deysel evaded the tackle of Stormers centre EW Viljoen to score the opening try on 10 minutes.
Despite the rain that made handling difficult, both sides looked to run with the ball but a mix of unforced errors and excellent defence in both 22s meant there was no more scoring until four minutes before halftime.
The Sharks grabbed their second try as the Stormers claimed a lineout inside their 22, but lost possession and Lewies was able to finish for a 15-0 lead at the break.
Marais kicked the Stormers’ first points from a penalty and the gap was reduced to five when he barged over the line after a quick tap-penalty from scrumhalf Jano Vermaak.
At that stage the momentum was with the visitors, but a fine solo run from Nkosi handed the advantage back to the Sharks as the wing burst through a number of limp Stormers tackles and scored unopposed under the posts.
The Stormers spent most of the remainder of the match in the Sharks 22, battering the home side’s line with powerful carries from their forwards, but were unable to break through.
They were denied a losing bonus point after the hooter when loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe got his body over the line, but in keeping with the home effort all evening, the Sharks managed to prevent him from grounding the ball with some superb scrambling defence. (Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Rex Gowar)