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- 13th Apr 2012
- KO 08:35
- Ground: Eden Park, Auckland
Sharks hunt down the Blues
Things go from bad to worse for Lam's side
The Sharks piled the pressure on the underfire Blues as they snatched a 29-23 victory at Eden Park.
A difficult week for the Blues, that saw coach Pat Lam hit out at racist abuse and captain Keven Mealamu criticise team-mate Piri Weepu, got worse as they lost their sixth game of the season.
Despite controlling the game for long periods, the Blues were made to pay for two costly interceptions - while a controversial fourth try for the Sharks rubbed salt into the wounds.
Steven Sykes, Craig Burden, Keegan Daniel and Tim Whitehead all crossed for the South Africans, while Patrick Lambie added nine points.
The Blues game themselves hope through tries from Tony Woodcock and Benson Stanley and 13 points from Gareth Anscombe, but it wasn't to be.
The Blues got off to a shocking start as they conceded 13 points in the opening 20 minutes - with both tries coming via interceptions.
First Daniel snaffled Stanley's pass from 60m out and, although Anscombe caught the Sharks captain before the line, Sykes was on hand to pick up and dive over.
Lambie missed the conversion but made no mistake with a penalty.
And the Blues clearly hadn't learned their lessons with Burden crossing for the second try following another intercept. Chris Lowrey was this time guilty of throwing a wayward pass, with Burden racing clear to score. Lambie converted to make it 13-0 after 18 minutes.
The score was harsh on the Blues who had enjoyed the better of possession and territory
Anscombe got the Blues on the board, though, with a penalty and then slotted over the extras after Woodcock burrowed over following Charlie Faumuina's drive forward.
It was just reward for the home side's efforts and they cut the deficit to just two points by half-time with a further Anscombe penalty.
When Stanley crossed immediately after the break it seemed the tide was finally turning for the Blues. A poor pass from Daniel at a scrum in the Sharks 22 bounced past everyone, allowing Stanley to scoop up and dive over. Anscombe converted.
The Sharks response was instant, though, as Daniel atoned for his earlier error. Burden made the initial break and Daniel was on hand to power over. Lambie's conversion put the visitors into a 22-20 lead.
And the Sharks extended their lead in controversial fashion through Whitehead. Lambie had cut through the Blues line and found Daniel, who in turn passed the ball out to Whitehead. The centre failed to gather the initial pass but he took it at the second attempt after the ball bounced off Hadleigh Parkes, with Whitehead sprinting away to score. Lambie converted.
The Blues gave themselves hope with Anscombe's three-pointer with 13 minutes left but the Sharks were able to shut up shop.Super 15. Click here to bet.
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Bulls|
|17:10||Stormers vs Sharks|
|Friday 13th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Blues|
|11:00||Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels|
|Saturday 14th March|
|03:30||Crusaders vs Lions|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Waratahs|
|08:40||Reds vs Brumbies|
|13:00||Stormers vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Sharks|
|Friday 20th March|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Hurricanes|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Lions|
|Saturday 21st March|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Cheetahs|
|15:05||Bulls vs Western Force|
|17:10||Sharks vs Chiefs|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|05:05||Waratahs vs Brumbies|
|Friday 27th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels|
|09:00||Reds vs Lions|
|Saturday 28th March|
|05:30||Chiefs vs Cheetahs|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Stormers|
|08:40||Waratahs vs Blues|
|15:05||Sharks vs Western Force|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Lions 19 - 22 Stormers|
|Bulls 43 - 35 Sharks|
|Melbourne Rebels 15 - 20 Brumbies|
|Chiefs 40 - 16 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th February|
|Cheetahs 25 - 24 Blues|
|Western Force 13 - 42 Hurricanes|
|Highlanders 20 - 13 Reds|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Sharks 29 - 12 Lions|
|Stormers 27 - 16 Blues|
|Reds 18 - 6 Western Force|
|Highlanders 20 - 26 Crusaders|
|Friday 20th February|
|Bulls 13 - 17 Hurricanes|
|Melbourne Rebels 28 - 38 Waratahs|
|Chiefs 19 - 17 Brumbies|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Waratahs 13 - 25 Western Force|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Bulls 17 - 29 Stormers|
|Sharks 29 - 35 Cheetahs|
|Blues 18 - 23 Chiefs|
|Friday 13th February|
|Lions 8 - 22 Hurricanes|
|Brumbies 47 - 3 Reds|
|Crusaders 10 - 20 Melbourne Rebels|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com