Highlanders hang on to beat careless Sharks
March 3, 2000
Sharks' forward effort not enough to overcome Highlanders who win 27-20 at Carisbrook.
After last week's stroll against the Queensland Reds, the Highlanders found the Sharks of much sterner stuff at Carisbrook this evening.
The huge Sharks forwards dominated the first 20 minutes and built up a useful lead with tries from Roger Smith and skipper Chris Rossouw.Steadier kicking from Gaffie Du Toit would have given the Sharks a more comfortable lead. The Highlanders fought back in the second quarter with a penalty from Brown and a try from Alatini after the Sharks defence had been stretched wide on the right. Brown converted but Du Toit kicked a penalty to give the Sharks a 13-10 half time lead.
A dreadful mix up in the Sharks' defence gifted Jeff Wilson a try after 40 seconds of the second half and thereafter the one -dimensional attacking play of the South African side was never quite good enough to break the Highlanders down.More variety came into their play when Du Toit was replaced by Christo Van Rensburg , but a Brown penalty and a Kelleher try extended the Highlanders'lead. In a spirited last ten minutes Van Rensburg scored a deserved try , which he converted himself, but the Highlanders just hung on. 4 Championship points to the Highlanders, 1 to the Sharks.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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