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Dragons suffer a heavy defeat away at the Sharks

25 Nov 2023 2 minute read
Rodney Parade picture by COYB01 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

The Sharks claimed their first win in the United Rugby Championship this season at the sixth time of asking following a 69-14 home triumph over the Dragons.

Victory saw the South Africans climb off the bottom of the table after the Dragons failed to build on last week’s win over the Ospreys – their first of the campaign.

The Sharks ran in 10 tries through doubles from Aphelele Fassi and Grant Williams and further scores from Makazole Mapimpi, Werner Kok, Eben Etzebeth, Phepsi Buthelezi, Lappies Labuschagne and Lukhanyo Am.

Curwin Bosch landed five penalties and a conversion with Boeta Chamberlain converting three tries.

Dane Blacker and Rio Dyer responded for the Dragons, with Cai Evans and Rhodri Williams adding the extras.

Bosch kicked an early penalty before the first try came as a clean lineout win opened up the Dragons defence and Fassi slid over and quick hands from another Sharks break saw Mapimpi dive over in the corner for a second.

But the Dragons rallied and they found a hole in the Sharks’ back line before a pass inside saw scrum-half Blacker coast in for a score under the posts.

Kok then held onto a superb offload to stretch the Sharks’ lead and moments later their dominance told as a quick tap penalty helped Etzebeth go over for the bonus-point score.

Another lineout win created space for the Sharks and, as the Dragons were cut wide open, Williams had the easiest of tasks to slide over.

But the Dragons would not lie down and back they came as Dyer collected the ball from the kick-off to go over in the corner.

That was as good as it got for the Welsh province as the relentless South Africans cut through their defences.

Buthelezi powered over after yet more dominant play and soon after Williams scythed through the Dragons defence before flipping the ball up to Labuschagne to coast over.

As the Dragons tired, the Sharks made hay as Williams, Fassi and Am put the icing on the cake with three tries in five minutes.

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