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Loader try decisive as Stormers inflict more URC woe on the Sharks

By PA
Stormers' Ben Loader (Photo by Gianluigi Guercia/AFP via Getty Images)

The Sharks suffered more United Rugby Championship misery as the Stormers inflicted a ninth league defeat on them by winning 25-21 in Durban.

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They continue to prop up the table with a solitary win from 10 starts this season while their South African rivals remain strong play-off contenders.

The Stormers cruised into an early lead through tries from hooker Joseph Dweba and scrum-half Paul de Wet, with centre Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu adding one conversion and then kicking a penalty just before half-time.

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Prop Ox Nche, flanker James Venter and hooker Bongi Mbonambi claimed tries for the Sharks, with Curwin Bosch and Siya Masuku (two) kicking conversions to secure a losing bonus point.

But wing Ben Loader’s 49th-minute try, converted by Feinberg-Mngomezulu, proved decisive and the centre also slotted a late penalty.

Fixture
United Rugby Championship
Sharks
21 - 25
Full-time
Stormers
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J
Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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