URC result: Leinster win 54-34; Sharks attack brilliant, but defence sadly wanting | The Citizen

The Sharks scored five tries and contributed superbly to a dazzling game of rugby, but sadly their defence was found wanting and was nowhere near the quality of their attacking play, as Leinster thumped them 54-34 in their United Rugby Championship match in Dublin on Saturday evening.

A brilliant first half saw Leinster and the Sharks trade tries as the home side went into the break just 21-20 up. They were still just one point ahead as the hour mark loomed, a magnificent solo try by wing Thaakir Abrahams lifting the visitors back to 27-28.

But the Sharks unfortunately lost the plot in the final quarter as Leinster scored five tries to one in those 20 minutes. A game that had produced so much brilliant rugby sadly ended on a sour note as Sharks centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg was correctly red-carded for a wild tackle that saw his swinging arm hit opposite number Robbie Henshaw in the chin, sparking off a melee.

While the Sharks showed fantastic skill and imagination in attack, cutting Leinster open off lineout drives and scrums, their defence was consistently found wanting out wide, where Leinster found space through brilliant kicks or great handling.

Sir Jonny

Leinster flyhalf Jonny Sexton, or Sir Jonny as he is known in Dublin, pulled the strings superbly, his kicking being brilliant. He kicked seven out of eight conversions, which kept the hosts ahead on the leaderboard in the early stages, and his crosskicks were a real thorn in the Sharks’ flesh, with centres Henshaw and Charlie Ngatai also setting up tries from precise kick-passes.

The Sharks’ defence was again caught too narrow too often, and coach Sean Everitt will need to sort that out.

Also read: Sharks lift themselves from their trance, Everitt delighted

But he will be delighted with their wonderful attacking play, highlighted by the brace of tries scored by Abrahams. His second try, in the 55th minute, was outrageous. He did well to claim a tricky, pressure high-ball, and then scampered away from a crowd of defenders, kicked ahead and then beat replacement wing Garry Ringrose to the touchdown.

Fullback Aphelele Fassi scored two tries as well, but had a mixed evening as he was a revolving door in defence at times.

Flank Dylan Richardson bossed the breakdowns, and the Sharks seemed to have the edge at scrum time, although there were precious few of those, which speaks to the quality of the game and how few handling errors there were.

Also read: Sharks want to take quick ball and phases away from Leinster

Leinster’s forwards also carried superbly, and it was the attention they demanded from the Sharks defence which also contributed to the space out wide.


Leinster: Tries – Jason Jenkins, Garry Ringrose (2), Andrew Porter, Robbie Henshaw, Rob Russell, Jonny Sexton, John McKee. Conversions – Sexton (7).

Sharks: Tries – Aphelele Fassi (2), Werner Kok, Thaakir Abrahams (2). Conversions – Boeta Chamberlain (2), Nevaldo Fleurs. Penalty – Chamberlain.

Source link

Home  Articles  Disclaimer  Contact Us