Super Rugby: Ten-try Sharks feast on rock-bottom Kings in Durban
The Sharks ran in ten tries as they registered a comprehensive 58-13 victory over the Kings in Durban on Saturday.
By Ben Hampshire
Last Updated: 13/07/13 6:05pm
Marcell Coetzee, Bismarck du Plessis, Odwa Ndungane, Riaan Viljoen, Tendai Mtawarira, Louis Ludik, Keegan Daniel, Fred Zeilinga and Meyer Bosman all got their names on the scoresheet, along with a penalty try, as the Sharks closed their 2013 campaign with an emphatic bonus-point victory.
It was however the Kings who drew first blood when Waylon Murray intercepted the ball off a lineout before slipping a pass into George Whitehead, who raced over the line to score the opening try of the game.
Momentum soon switched hands though as the Sharks found their stride with Coetzee taking the ball from the maul and powering over the line for his fifth try of the season before Bosman subsequently added the extras.
The pack continued to drive Brendan Venter's men forward as another maul took the Sharks close to the Kings line with Du Plessis breaking away to complete the move and double the hosts' try tally.
With the floodgates seemingly open wide for the home side, Ndungane won a three-man race to collect a kick through to score a third Sharks try in the opening quarter of an hour, while Bosman squandered his perfect record as the conversion sailed wide.
Whitehead struck successfully from the tee for three points before Mpho Mbiyozo drove over the line for the Kings before a penalty try was conceded to give the Sharks a 26-13 advantage at half-time.
The Sharks made a determined return from the interval, turning over the ball in the opening minutes before fly-half Viljoen raced over the line to score a bonus point try after exchanging passed with Bosman, who duly added the conversion.
Tries kept on coming for the Sharks who displayed excellent ball retention in the second period, working through the phases before Mtawarira powered his way over the line as the Kings began to lose any hold they had on the game.
A line out 10 metres from the Kings line provided the ideal opportunity for try number seven as the Sharks swiftly moved the ball across field off the back off a maul to find Ludik, who crossed over to extend the advantage to thirty points with half an hour left to play.
Sharks number eight Daniel provided the eighth ten minutes from time as he slipped off the back of a ruck to find another gap in an exposed Kings defence.
Prop Mtawaria broke the placid Kings back line once again as Zeilinga raced home before Bosman rounded off a robust Sharks performance with a tenth try as the hosts passed the half-century mark to close the season in style.
Both sides entered the final round fixture with little to play for as the Kings were already condemned to the foot of the table; while even a bonus-point win was not enough to help the Sharks hijack the play-off positions.
The Kings will now play two matches against Johannesburg-based franchise the Lions on July 26 and August 3 to decide which South African outfit will compete in the 2014 Super Rugby campaign.