Cell C Sharks win first Currie Cup title since 2013
October 27, 2018
The Cell C Sharks claimed their first Currie Cup title in five years on Saturday in a brave reversal of fortunes after going down in last year’s final. They outscored DHL Western Province two tries to none for a 17-12 victory in a gripping match in the sweltering heat at DHL Newlands.

It was not the fairy-tale finish DHL Western Province were hoping for after winning all of their matches in the lead-up to the final in the competition proudly brought to you by DirectAxis Financial Services and Nashua.

It was a game of inches, as the Durbanites overturned a 6-0 halftime deficit to force their way over the tryline twice, while Robert du Preez converted both tries and added a penalty goal to steer the side to victory.

Cell C Sharks captain Louis Schreuder was delighted about the win and said: “It is an unbelievable feeling. I am so happy for the boys.

“We put in a lot of hard work and it paid off.

He admitted it was a tough final, saying: “It was a proper final.

“All respect to Western Province, they really brought their fight. But well done to our boys, this is very special.”

The first half was gripping as both sides threw everything at one another, which resulted in a physical tussle in which neither side gave an inch.

Both teams came within striking range of the tryline on two occasions in the first half, but neither team was able to breach the defence, which resulted in DHL Western Province winger SP Marais’ two penalty goals being the only points scored in the first half.

The Cell C Sharks came out firing in the second half and scored the first try of the match compliments of man-of-the-match Akker van der Merwe, and the successful conversion by Du Preez pushed the Durbanites into the lead for the first time.

Marais and Du Preez each added penalty goals in the following exchanges, which saw the visitors remain in a narrow 10-9 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Curwin Bosch had an opportunity to stretch the Cell C Sharks’ lead in the 59th minute with a penalty goal, but his shot went wide. But the visitors kept on fighting as the match progressed, and it paid off as Tyler Paul crossed the chalk after a number of phases to hand them a handy 17-9 lead in the last 10 minutes.

The hosts hit back with a penalty goal by Damian Willemse in the 75th minute, which allowed them to come within a converted try of the Cell C Sharks on the scoreboard.

The visitors, however, defended like demons to shut them out, which saw them lift the trophy for the first time since 2013.


Currie Cup Final - DHL Western Province 12 (6) Cell C Sharks 17 (0)

DHL Western Province - Penalty Goals: SP Marais (3), Damian Willemse.

Cell C Sharks - Tries: Akker van der Merwe, Tyler Paul. Conversions: Robert du Preez (2). Penalty Goal: Robert du Preez.

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