WATCH | Sharks’ Curwin Bosch slots late penalty to break Griquas’ hearts

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Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch kicked a penalty well into injury time to snatch a 34-33 victory over Griquas on Friday in a Super Rugby Unlocked thriller.

Griquas twice led by 13 points during the second half at their Kimberley base and took a two-point lead on 80 minutes when flyhalf Tinus de Beer slotted a penalty.

But the hosts then conceded a penalty and twice-capped Springbok Bosch made no mistake from 44 metres to keep alive a slim chance of winning the single-round competition.

No spectators were permitted at Griqua Park stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Durban outfit trail leaders, the Bulls, by two points and have home advantage over the Stormers next Saturday in the final round. 

However, the Bulls appear to have an easier final fixture, at home to Pumas, and a bonus-point victory will assure the Pretoria franchise of a first domestic title since winning the 2009 Currie Cup.

“We were not good enough tonight,” admitted Jeremy Ward, deputising as Sharks captain for injured fellow centre Lukhanyo Am. 

“Our work at the breakdowns was disappointing and we conceded far too many penalties. It was just as well Curwin was in such good form with his goal-kicking.”

Griquas scrumhalf and skipper Zak Burger was not downbeat despite a fifth consecutive loss and only three points from a possible 25.

“Everyone played with pride and it was really unfortunate that we lost after taking the lead in the final minute of regular time,” he said after the narrowest winning margin so far in the competition.

Bosch moved one point ahead of veteran Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn in the race to finish leading points scorer after amassing 14 from four conversions and two penalties.

Sharks’ tries came from scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba, substitute fullback Manie Libbok, Ward and substitute loose forward Dylan Richardson.

Man-of-the-match De Beer, a late pre-match inclusion after George Whitehead broke a hand, did not miss a kick at goal in compiling 18 points from three conversions and four penalties.

Griquas’ try scorers in a match where they led 9-7 at half-time were wings Ederies Arendse and Eduan Keyter and lock Gideon van der Merwe.

On Saturday, the Stormers host the Cheetahs (19:00) in Cape Town while three Pumas tested positive for coronavirus, leading to the postponement of their match against Lions scheduled for Johannesburg.

SCORERS:

Griquas

Tries: Ederies Arendse, Eduan Keyter, Gideon van der Merwe

Conversions: Tinus de Beer (3)

Penalties: De Beer (4)

Sharks

Tries: Sanele Nohamba, Manie Libbok, Jeremy Ward, Dylan Richardson

Conversions: Curwin Bosch (4)

Penalty: Bosch (2)

TEAMS:

Griquas

15 Masixole Banda, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 George Whitehead (captain), 9 Zak Burger, 8 Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Mox Mxoli

Substitutes: Monde Hadebe, Andrew Beerwinkel, Madot Mabokela, Carl Els, CJ Velleman, Theo Maree, Tinus de Beer, Daniel Kasende, Bandisa Ndlovu, Ewan Coetzee, Ashlon Davids

Sharks

15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Khwezi Mona, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Sbu Nkosi

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