Brumbies out as Sharks beat Force 41-25 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies out as Sharks beat Force 41-25

13/05/2006 06:06:56 AM Comments (0)

The Sharks have ended the Brumbies 2006 Super 14 title hopes after pushing the Australian team out of semi-final contention with a 41-25 win over the Western Force in Durban.

The South African franchise leapfrogged the Brumbies into fourth place with their bonus-point win, and are in prime position to secure the final berth for next week's semis.

The Brumbies had earlier lost their last-round clash against the Crusaders 33-3 in Christchurch.

That result meant the Sharks needed to beat the Force by 10 or more and earn a four-try bonus point to overtake the Brumbies in fourth place on the ladder.

After achieving that, the Sharks have virtually booked themselves a semi-final showdown with defending champions and minor premiers the Crusaders in Christchurch next week.

The Sharks, though, will have to wait until Sunday for confirmation, with the Bulls still an outside chance of nabbing fourth spot, needing to beat the 10th-placed Stormers in Cape Town by at least 32 points to jump the Sharks.

The loss ensured the Force claimed the wooden spoon in its first year in Super 14 rugby, despite a promising end to the season which included draws against the Crusaders and Cats, and a breakthrough win over fellow newcomers the Cheetahs last week.

At ABSA Stadium in Durban, the Force outscored the Sharks three tries to two in the second half, but never really looked like causing an upset after trailing 27-8 at halftime.

The Sharks got off to a perfect start when winger Odwa Ndungane scored the first of two tries for the night after just three minutes.

Ndungane had his second by the 15 minute mark, and the Sharks looked well on their way to booking a semi-final berth when Jacques Botes crossed soon after to extend the margin to 24-3.

The Force, though, hit back with a try to winger Digby Ioane before halftime, and then dominated the opening 10 minutes after the break, resulting in a Scott Fava try.

That reduced the margin to 27-15, but it was the closest the Force world get.

Warren Britz secured the Sharks a bonus point with the side's fourth try, and then replacement JP Pietersen capped off the win with a superb try.

Fullback Cameron Shepherd scored a pair of consolation tries for the Force near fulltime, but missed both conversions to cap off a miserable night with the boot.

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