Lambie inspires Sharks to victory
31 Jul 2010
GARETH DUNCAN reports on the Sharks’ dramatic 25-13 win against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The Cheetahs looked the better team and deservedly lead 13-6 until the 70th minute. However, a three-try blitz in the last 10 minutes, which included a brace from inside centre Pat Lambie, secured the win for the Sharks as the home team suffered a late defensive lapse.
Coming off a big away victory against the Bulls last weekend, the Cheetahs displayed an impressive all-round performance at Vodacom Park. They were the better team on attack and their defence was the main reason they had a slim lead for most parts of the match. However, their inability to build a formidable lead cost them as the Sharks surged ahead in the dying moments.
The Sharks hard a poor first half as they hardly troubled the hosts with their static approach on attack. Their front row also had a poor game as they regularly leaked penalties and freekicks at scrum time.
The Cheetahs struck first as Louis Strydom converted a penalty. They suffered a setback moments later as scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn was yellow-carded for a punch on loosehead prop Pat Cilliers.
Against 14 men, the Sharks only managed to score three points as inside centre Pat Lambie converted a penalty. They created try-scoring opportunities but they failed to convert them because of their problematic scrum and poor ball retention.
De Bruyn made amends when he returned from the sin bin as he scored a try from a quick penalty tap. From 30m out, the No 9 caught the Sharks napping and sidestepped tighthead prop Wian Herbst to dive over untouched. The Cheetahs went into the break 10-3 ahead.
In the second half, Strydom and Lambie traded penalties and it looked like the Cheetahs would go on to win the low-scoring affair. However, against the run of play, replacement prop Eugene van Staden scored a 70th-minute try to reduce the deficit to two points.
It seemed the Cheetahs were let off the hook as Lambie missed the crucial conversion – but No 8 Ryan Kankowski’s break saw Lambie stretch over moments later. The inside centre picked up a double as the Sharks broke down the right touchline soon after to seal the game.