No possession, no worries

They held their own in territory stakes, but with under 40% of the possession, the Sharks made use of an abrasive defence, including 22 dominant hits, to subdue the Lions.

Finding themselves 14-0 down fairly early on in the piece at Kings Park on Saturday afternoon, the Lions were always chasing the game.

Yet, later having reduced that deficit to 17-14, instead of taking the 3 points from a penalty to level the scores, the Lions opted for the lineout drive. A mistake forced by yet more Sharks defence saw Makazola Mapimpi intercept the ball and head in for a 95-metre try, and in effect, a ten-point swing.

Throw in the fact that another 50 of the metres run by the Sharks came from another intercept try, via Curwin Bosch in the first ten minutes of the game, the Sharks effectively made 460m from 58 carries during the rest of the game.

This while the Lions were forced into making just 6.5m a carry from their 132 carries as they mostly hammered away at what was eventually a defensive effort that got the home side across the finish line.

The Sharks missed 33 of 190 attempted tackles, but 22 of the 157 tackles made were dominant, and 6 of them led to turnovers. And given that it was mostly close-quarters tackling, the back up to those missed tackles was often not far away.

The Lions may well deem this as one that got away, though, with small errors negating the obviously superior attacking skills (passing, line breaks, offloads), but the 8 extra handling errors did not help their cause.

And on a humid evening in Durban, in the face of the abrasive Sharks defence, the Lions should perhaps have thought about using the boot a bit more in the fight for territory.

Sharks 27 (14) – Tries: Curwin Bosch, Dan du Preez, Makazole Mapimpi. Conversions: Bosch (3). Penalty goals: Bosch (2).

 Lions 17 (7) – Tries: Lionel Mapoe, Cyle Brink. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalty goal: Jantjies.

A look at the match stats from Kings Park:

Match information:

  • Points: SHA 27-17 LIO
  • Tries: SHA 3-2 LIO
  • Penalty goals: SHA 2-1 LIO
  • Goal kicking %: SHA 83% – 75% LIO
  • Possession: SHA 39% – 61% LIO
  • Territory: SHA 50% – 50% LIO
  • Ball in play: 32 minutes

Attacking stats:

  • Ball Carries: SHA 60-132 LIO
  • Metres run: SHA 606-852 LIO
  • Metres per carry: SHA 10.1-6.5 LIO
  • Line breaks: SHA 2-4 LIO
  • Tackle breaks: SHA 5-10 LIO
  • Passes: SHA 83-214 LIO
  • Good Passes: SHA 68-186 LIO
  • Offloads: SHA 7-13 LIO
  • Rucks won: SHA 39-101 LIO
  • Mauls won: SHA 5-2 LIO
  • Turnovers conceded: SHA 15-16 LIO

Defensive stats:

  • Tackles made: SHA 157-77 LIO
  • Tackles missed: SHA 33-15 LIO
  • Tackle success: SHA 85% – 85% LIO
  • Dominant tackles: SHA 22-3 LIO
  • Tackle turnover: SHA 6-2 LIO
  • Turnovers won: SHA 4-5 LIO

Kicking stats:

  • Kicks from hand: SHA 21-21 LIO
  • Metres kicked: SHA 578-615 LIO
  • Metres per kick: SHA 27.5-29.3 LIO

Error stats:

  • Handling errors: SHA 14-22 LIO
  • Penalties conceded: SHA 8-8 LIO
  • Yellow cards: SHA 0-0 LIO
  • Red cards: SHA 0-0 LIO

First phase stats:

  • Lineouts won: SHA 11-9 LIO
  • Lineouts stolen: SHA 0-1 LIO
  • Scrums won: SHA 8-6 LIO
  • Scrums lost: SHA 0-0 LIO

- Tank Lanning

Let's chat

  • Wesley

    If you can score two intercept tries from defensive pressure, you dont need the ball for very long. Defensively the Sharks and Stormers are your best bet against running opposition, and the Lions do better against defensively unstructured opposition.

  • Dean Bright

    I’d question the laws on that Mapimpi try, he was literally standing in the Lions backline. Surely it’s offside. He was basically standing there waiting for them to pass the ball into his hands. There’s no attempt to make a tackle.

    • Baylion

      No problem with Mapimpi’s intercept. He came in after the ruck was over and forced an overhead pass as the only option to get the ball wide. Well played

      Bosch, however, was about 2-3m offside before the ball was even out of the ruck. In fact, he never got onside in the first place.

      Intercepts close to a set piece, ruck or maul leading to a try should automatically go to the TMO

    • John Comyn

      Dean were expecting Barry to agree with you? But man that Mapimpi guy has got some gas. He literally cantered away from the chasers. He has to be high up on Rassie’s list.

    • Barry

      Dean, I believe the rules of “general Play” apply. The ball was in play, so there were no off sides until the point of breakdown. However, on the question of decision making, I believe the Jantjies pass to Lionel Mapoe was certainly forward!

      • Dean Bright

        Yes that one I thought was forward too.

  • Barry

    I was initially a little disappointed with the Sharks performance, because there were many silly mistakes and points that were left out on the park, but if you have a look at the SANZAAR team stats you will see that the Lions top (SA Conference) 5 of the 7 important categories. Viz tries, defenders beaten, line outs, scrums & rucks. They are a very good attacking side and a strong defensive game was what was needed to beat them. Probably a lot tougher than we give credit for!

    • Herman

      The problem Barry is you cannot rely on defence only. Despite the rebuilding process and highly influential players not being available the Lions still beat the Jags twice and two NZ teams, one even in NZ. They also have won more games than the Sharks and Stormers and scored more tries. They’ve been doing that for years now.

      These results unfortunately distort what is required by SA teams to become more competitive. Derby games are notoriously tight games but when these teams are exposed to teams that attack with vision and skill our boys flounder. They do not have a Plan B or sufficient skills development to take on the big boys. Skills can only be developed if you play attacking rugby consistently. Like the Sharks, when they need to chase the game their backs are at sixes and sevens. It’s also poor coaching of course.

      The Sharks have an uphill climb imo. First the Hurricanes, then the Jags away and finally the Stormers also away. Apart from the Stormers ( although they are at home ) the other two will not be beaten with kicks, both are prolific try scorers. You guys will have to find a Plan B or maybe even C so good luck. Cheers.

      • Greg Shark

        Lions had a Plan B to being tackled out of their boots…Hah?

      • Albert

        The Lions may have won 1 more game, but they are level on points. So what does that say? Get your facts straight you biased bigot.

        • Herman

          Poor Albert, In a rebuilding year they can still compete with the more established teams was my point. Don’t forget the daylight robbery at Newlands and the four points they ‘lost’. That would have put them second behind the Jags at this stage and the Stormers well and truly in the basement on the log. Not bad for the cubs I’d say. Cheers.

          • Albert

            Poor deluded old Herman. You really don’t understand rugby at all, and even less so the intricacies of the global game these days. Probably not worth anyone’s time trying to explain it to you, but I am a glutton for punishment (I support all South African sport, but should switch to my adopted land probably).

            Here goes: All teams outside of the Lions have been in a constant rebuilding phase for the last 3 or 4 years. Which includes coaches and management and in some instances the entire rotten core of the union (vis The Stormers). Throughout this rebuilding phase, only one shining light managed to keep a team and coaching unit together long enough to make the final, but they just weren’t strong enough to actually win the final. Now this year, that shining light team is in a slight state of rebuilding, but they still have the entire core together 2, 8, 9, 10 and 15, and therefore should still be competitive, but they have already fallen behind all other South African teams (still unable to win a derby). So you blaming rebuilding is grossly delusional and unfathomably one eyed. Grow a pair and admit when other’s are doing well, admit your team’s flaws and be a man, not such a tedious little weasel that clings for dear life to his own lies.

            On another note, your golden boy Jantjies is clearly a weakness. Being dropped from the team for whatever stupid thing he did. If that were anyone of the other 10’s in SA you would be the first in line to get them sacked. Yet you don’t even notice it.

            I can see why the majority of people on this site have complete disdain for you and your pathetic comments.

    • Dean Bright

      I’m just glad they won. Sharks have beaten 3 times in a row now. That puts the scoreboard at 69-22 over 2 matches. 9 tries to 3. Not bad for a “domkrag” side. Must be a tough pill to swallow for Herman.

      • Herman

        Not really old chap. Would have been satisfied with a mid table finish in this rebuilding year but with three weeks to go they have just as much a chance of getting to the playoffs as the other pretenders. Not bad at all. Imagine the red faces if they managed that and the three mighty ‘also rans’ of years gone by dipped out, lol. Cheers.

  • Chris Mouton

    Hahaha! Indeed…Speaking of..Herman, you can come out now…It’s safe! LOL

  • Herman

    Thanks for the invite Chris. My tardy reply was due to a course I was taking at Heyneke Meyer’s ‘Dom Krag Academy’ in Pretoria. It only ended yesterday when after three days we finally got to the try scoring bit. The very last page of the manual deals with try scoring options and Page 462, para 1 says as follows :

    ”It is highly unlikely that the conservative pattern of play proven over time will produce tries in any great numbers. It is therefore recommended that teams look for interceptions at every opportunity even if it means breaking your defensive lines. The possible rewards far outweigh the practical impossibilities of scoring tries in the conventional sense and every conservatively trained side should use interceptions as their primary attacking weapon”

    Two out of three Sharkette wins with three intercept tries no doubt proves that dom krag rugby will always trump intelligent, skilled, visionary and fast paced teams and it should be adopted by all SA teams to ensure their success. Oh wait, three teams have been playing conservative ( dom krag ) rugby for years without success and the visionary blokes have been the most successful by a country mile. Very strange.

    That’s going to confuse Rassie no end, not that he is anything but confused anyway. So onwards to the WC where the wagons will no doubt form a laager and show the world that dom krag is king. Yeah right. Cheers.

    • Greg Shark

      still banging your drum hermie? How does swallowing 3 losses in a row to a team that thrashes your lions super skilled runners with good tackling, forces them into trying to speed up and yoh…here come the errors. Your fancy pant super skilled silky slippery nuggets have no answer to a team that play ‘in your face’, 2nd guess exactly where the ball is going and flatten ball carriers…..you’re still a laugh a minute…Cheers…..

      • Herman

        The Lions overall record over four tears says otherwise. What’s your teams excuse ? Cheers.

        • Albert

          Hahahahaha! Delusion, all you have is the last 4 years. What about the 15 years before that? Reality hurts

  • Albert

    Let’s talk honestly for a second, “conservative” rugby dominated Super Rugby for several years (Bulls and Stormers to a lesser degree). Then the Lions had 3 miracle years. That has now ended and the Lions have yet to beat another South African side with their “attacking” rugby. So the Heyneke Meyer’s ‘Dom Krag Academy’ in Pretoria seems to be accurate, apart from the fluke 3 years while the others were building.

    In using your own flawed logic against you, it has been proven so.

  • Herman

    Poor Albert Then please tell me why did the others stumble about in a dom krag haze these past four years ? Mind you they’re still doing it to this very day so they’ve actually learned nothing despite being ‘established’. Poor coaches and a brain dead game plan is why. No poor Albert after 2010 the game changed and the only one’s wpo adapted were the Lions. The records prove it so I needed even have to defend them. Einstein was indeed right, Google it. Cheers.

    • Albert

      No Google required. You can see my reply above, and know that you are the most biased bigoted old fool I have ever come across. There is no hope for you, and I wonder how you ever survived the dinosaurs.

Comments are closed.