URC: Lions gut the Sharks in United Rugby Championship at Emirates Airline Park

URC: Lions gut the Sharks in United Rugby Championship at Emirates Airline Park

Jarryd Westerdale
March 3, 2024 at 4:59 AM
  • The Lions recorded their first win of the year in the United Rugby Championship
  • A 40-minute halftime delay sapped the life out of the north-south encounter
  • The Sharks are still bottom of the URC log with only one win from 11 matches

The Lions earned their fifth United Rugby Championship win with a disjointed 40-10 win over the Sharks.

The visitors had another afternoon to forget, and could blame the halftime thunderstorm and subsequent delay for ruining any momentum they may have built before the break.

Sharks flyhalf, Siya Masuku opened the scoring from the tee shortly before a quick thinking, and quicker stepping, Sanele Nohamba scored that match's first try.

Lions, Sharks, URC, United Rugby Champiosnhip, Willem Loock, Supreme Image, 40-10.
The Lions powered past the Sharks with a 40-10 win at Emirates Airline Park in the United Rugby Championship. Photos: Willem Loock / Supreme Image Photography.
Source: Original

Playing at scrumhalf, some will debate whether Nohamba meant the fumble-fake that created the gap but his step around Aphelele Fassi was unquestioned brilliance.

JC Pretorius rounded off a sweeping move that featured a pinpoint Nohamba crosskick for the second try and Quan Horn dotted down for the third after the Lions ground down the Sharks from the rolling maul.

The Sharks did get themselves over the line twice in the opening 25 minutes, but twice they were held up. They secured their first five-pointer when Eduan Keyter finished off a scramble to the line after Nohamba's grubber was charged down.

Fassi thought he had a second but the try was chalked off after the TMO notified the referee of an illegal cleanout at the ruck by Ntuthuko Mchunu, much to Bongi Mbonambis's displeasure.

The teams went into the break at 19-10 and the game restarted over 40 minutes later after a massive thunderstorm.

The Sharks had the Lions pinned in their own 22 for the first seven minutes but failed to get on the scoreboard, turning down kickable penalties, only to turn over the ball when approaching the line.

Owing to the storm delay, the energy and execution were considerably off in the second half and it took 24 minutes for the scoreboard to need adjusting.

Conraad van Vuuren scored the Lions' fourth try after sustained territorial possession. The conversation made it a three-score game and the Sharks looked ready to hop on the plane home.

Erich Cronje ended the contest shortly after, when he collected Morne van den Berg's chip kick to score.

Hanru Sirgel added some gravy before the final whistle and the Sharks headed home, still rooted to the bottom of the URC log.

Lions, Sharks, Emirates, United Rugby Championship, URC, Willem Loock, Supreme Image.
The Lions celebrated a deserved win at Emirates Airline Park. Photo: Willem Loock / Supreme Image Photography.
Source: Original
Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.