Hendrikse sublime, Phepsi purrs and Curwin precise as sharks take out lions in wet Durban
Jaden Hendrikse. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
In almost a reminder of who the older brother was, Jaden Hendrikse put on a classic performance against brother Jordan as the Sharks beat the Lions 37-10 at Kings Park on Saturday.
The scrum-half put on the show in tough rainy conditions in the United Rugby Champion (URC), never allowing the home side to fall behind in their attacking effort.
He immediately put them on the front foot, putting in passes and kicks that almost put the Lions challenge on the ropes as early as 10 minutes.
HOW IT HAPPENED | URC: Sharks vs. Lions
The hosts took the lead first thanks to a well-settled score from Gerbrandt Grobler in the opening 10 minutes. The No.4 was started well by Jaden Hendrikse’s pop pass after winger Makazole Mapimpi got the upper hand in the first phase attack.
In the process, Jannie du Plessis was shown a yellow card for an unnecessary cynical shoulder charge on lock Reniel Hugo.
In the 11th minute, Jaden Hendrikse did his magic again when he kicked a ball over the Lions line with his weaker foot, which Marius Louw cupped beautifully before feeding Phepsi Buthelezi for their second try.
Buthelezi was another Sharks star for the Durbanites.
The loose-forward academy product carried with authority, breaking many tackles at times and nearly finishing the game with two scores all on his own.
Fly halves Curwin Bosch and Jordan Hendrikse traded penalties after the Sharks’ blistering start as the game simmered in pace, reflecting the wet conditions and heavy feet.
Curwin continued to put the Lions at arm’s length with a penalty early in the second half as the Sharks once again closed in on Henco Venter, who was held over the line.
Turnovers were all the rage and scrums went hither and thither then fell apart in the mash wet grass in Kings Park.
Kicking then became the tactic of choice, which also spoke of a lack of tactics as the weather reflected Dublin more than Durban.
On the hour, however, hooker Bongi Mbonambi broke the monotony by scoring the Sharks’ third try on a 15-yard maul that looked like a beautiful freight train marching from carriage to carriage in an orderly fashion.
The Lions couldn’t have done much about it.
Bosch had given positional supremacy to the Sharks with a brilliant 50-22, something he has made a weekly occurrence since settling in as a first-choice flyhalf.
The 24-year-old also struck impeccably for the posts, converting all four tries on the night to add to his three shots on goal – seven from seven attempted.
He even had the chance to score in the 68th minute but was overwhelmed by the Lions defenders as he tried to pass unsuccessfully.
But it was an impressive all-around performance for the much-maligned flyhalf.
The Sharks sealed the deal through substitute Sikhumbuzo Notshe with a try 10 minutes from time to earn their four-try bonus point.
The visitors had a Henco van Wyk consolation try late in the game, but that was all she wrote.
SEE NEWSPAPERS | united rugby league
Sharks – (17) 37
Essays: Gerbrandt Grobler, Phepsi Buthelezi, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe
Conversions: Curwin Bosch (4)
Penalties: Bosch (3)
Leos – (3) 10
Try: Henco van Wyk
Transformation: Jordan Hendrikse
Penalty: Jordan Hendrikse