Sharks stage second-half recovery to claim victory over Dragons
The Sharks overturned a 13-point deficit in the second half to beat Dragons 20-19 in the BKT United Rugby Championship at Rodney Parade.
Tries from Grant Williams and Thaakir Abrahams along with 13 points from the boot of Boeta Chamberlain got the Sharks over the line as they made it two wins from two this season.
Elliot Dee scored the Dragons’ only try with young outside-half Will Reed kicking 14 points.
The Dragons were leading with four minutes to go until a try from Abrahams along with Chamberlain’s conversion meant the hosts had to make do with a losing bonus point.
In the early stages of this contest the Sharks sent the Dragons scrum backwards at a rate of knots which allowed Chamberlain to open the scoring from the kicking tee.
Reed got the Dragons level with a successful penalty, and he kicked them ahead after the visitors were penalised for illegally collapsing a maul.
The Dragons turned the tables on the Sharks at the scrum with Ntuthuko Mchunu penalised which allowed Reed to extend the Welsh club’s lead.
Chamberlain and Reed exchanged penalties before the break meaning the Dragons turned around with a 12-6 lead.
The home side turned the screw after the interval and threatened to break clear.
A lovely offload from Rio Dyer sent Angus O’Brien racing through a gap. The former Scarlet found Rhodri Williams, who was unable to find a supporting team-mate but the referee was playing advantage which allowed Reed to pump the ball into the Sharks 22.
The home side set themselves well in the resulting maul with Dee powering over from short range for a try which Reed converted.
The Sharks threw the kitchen sink at the Dragons as they desperately tried to force their way back into the game.
The South African side created opportunities with Phepsi Buthelezi breaking through only to be turned over by Basham.
On another occasion Werner Kok raced 50 metres up field and managed to release Ben Tapuai but the Dragons’ scramble defence kept them at bay.
But, with less than 20 minutes remaining, the Sharks got back in the game when Williams intercepted a loose pass from O’Brien to score.
The visitors then took the lead with just four minutes left, and it proved decisive.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe broke through Reed’s tackle before offloading to Marnus Potgieter who put Abrahams over for the try which Chamberlain, crucially, converted.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.