x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Chance ahead for Sharks

The Natal Sharks have the chance to go top of the Super 14 table after the New South Wales Waratahs suffered their first defeat of the season.

The Natal Sharks have the chance to go top of the Super 14 table after the New South Wales Waratahs suffered their first defeat of the season yesterday. They were beaten 21-11 by the ACT Brumbies, for whom Adam Ashley-Cooper and Ben Alexander scored tries. "All credit to the Brumbies. They were very good at the breakdown and I thought that we probably got out-enthused and out-muscled," admitted the Waratahs coach Chris Hickey.

The Sharks go into today's game with the Queensland Reds a point behind the Waratahs and the Pretoria Bulls, who have a free week. Today's other matches see the Canterbury Crusaders host Western Force, Waikato Chiefs visit the Otago Highlanders while the Cape Town Stormers face the Johannesburg Lions. The Bloemfontein Cheetahs remain the only side without a win after they were outclassed 46-12 by the Auckland Blues. The Blues captain Keven Mealamu said: "It's great to see the younger guys go out there and express themselves."

There are also two games in England's Guinness Premiership today, as Gloucester play Wasps and Northampton take on Sale. In rugby league, the Melbourne Storm made a thrilling start to the NRL season with a golden point victory over St George/Illawarra Dragons. Greg Inglis kicking a drop goal to give them a 17-16 victory. The day's other game was almost as exciting as Peter Wallace's drop goal three minutes from time gave the Brisbane Broncos a 19-18 win over North Queensland.

Today, Canterbury play Manly, Cronulla take on Penrith and the New Zealand Warriors face Parramatta while in the Super League in England, Castleford face Huddersfield and Warrington visit Harlequins. akunawicz@thenational.ae