Cell C Sharks tame Xerox Lions at Woodburn Stadium

Braving the bitter cold, Pietermaritzburg residents turned out in their droves to support the Cell C Sharks who took on the Xerox Lions at the Woodburn stadium on Friday.

The match, which was a warm-up to the Absa Currie Cup,  was one of the biggest events in the city, leaving heaving traffic jams in and around the stadium before and after the game. And the fans were not disappointed when the Cell C Sharks decimated the Xerox Lions 33-29.

Joe Pieterson opened the scoring for the Sharks after a hotly contested opening to the game when both sides showed great character in the build up play to open the scoring long before Pieterson snatched the opportunity.

The score was 7-0 in the opening 10 minutes which left the Pietermaritzburg crowd with the hope that the win would just come to a formality.

On the quarter hour mark the visitors started pushing quite heavily as they were not going to take defeat lying down. The Lions got their opening try then scored in the resulting corner to level the matters.

On the half hour Marnitz Boshoff gave the Lions their first lead of the game. Skosan extended the Lions lead with a try and a successful conversion to take the visitors lead to 21-12. The Lions going in with a nine point lead at the half.

A virtually changed Sharks lineup left only Jean Luc- Du Preez and Monde Hadebe left from the starters.

The pressure started to build and a look of fear overcame the visitors as the Sharks were swimming faster now, refusing to be overcome by defeat. The first penalty of the game extended the Lions lead to 24-19.

The visitors were struggling to cage the now rampant sharks with the home side blowing passed the Lions to a 33-24 lead.

The Lions seemingly shocked by the quickness of the Sharks’ scoring, attempted to save the game to bring themselves to a four point deficit , but it was too little too late with the Cell C Sharks running out winners .

Adam David

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