Record win as 10-try Sharks rout Rebels
DURBAN, South Africa (AFP) –
Coastal Sharks of South Africa scored a record win and Melbourne Rebels of Australia suffered a record loss in a 64-7 Super 15 mismatch at windy Kings Park Saturday.
The 57-point winning margin of the Durban franchise in this Indian Ocean city easily bettered a 53-11 win over Western Force of Australia last season in the southern hemisphere provincial championship.
Victory came a week after Sharks sustained a 19-point hiding from table toppers ACT Brumbies of Australia at the same venue, which led New Zealand-born coach John Plumtree to make eight starting line-up changes.
Sharks climbed six places on the table to third after the rout, six points behind Brumbies and four adrift of defending champions Waikato Chiefs of New Zealand.
After beginning the season with a victory over Force, this was the Rebels’ fourth consecutive reverse and it does not get any easier next weekend for the tourists when they meet on-song Central Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
The Australians’ previous heaviest loss was 53-3 against compatriots Queensland Reds and an awful performance in Durban saw them threaten to score for the first time 64 minutes into the match when 64 points behind.
Gareth Delve got over the try-line, but the television match official judged the No 8 had been held up by Sharks replacement full-back and Springbok Francois Steyn.
The Australians did score four minutes later when flank Scott Higginbotham dived over beside the posts after a quick tap penalty and full-back James O’Connor converted with his lone shot at goal.
Higginbotham was among seven forwards to touch down with loose forwards Marcel Coetzee, Jacques Botes, Keegan Daniel and Ryan Kankowski, hooker Kyle Cooper and prop Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira scoring for Sharks.
Full-back Louis Ludik scored two tries, including the first on seven minutes, and scrum-half Cobus Reinich and replacement fly-half Riaan Viljoen were the other South African try scorers.
Fly-half Patrick Lambie, who missed only two kicks at goal from 21 in four previous games, found the wind a formidable foe and gave way to centre Meyer Bosman after succeeding with just two of six shots.
Bosman fared better with easier shots, slotting five consecutive conversions before the ball fell over ahead of his sixth attempt and a hurried drop kick at goal was off target.