Match Report – Sharks 7 – 54 Lions

Hat-tricks from Duhan van der Merwe and Josh Adams helped the British and Irish Lions to a 54-7 win over the Sharks at Ellis Park on Wednesday.

The game was in doubt earlier after two positive Covid-19 cases in the Lions camp, forcing a further 12 people within the touring party to isolate and necessitating eight changes in the matchday squad of 18.

However, the drama did not slow the Lions down and they scored eight tries in all with Bundee Aki and Louis Rees-Zammit also going over.

Owen Farrell, who was drafted into fly-half at the last minute, knocked over two conversions, with Finn Russell adding four as the Lions followed up their 56-14 win over the Sigma Lions with another drubbing.

James Venter got the consolation try for the Sharks, who because of the Covid concerns in South Africa were forced to move the game from their base in Durban.

The Lions were over the try-line in the third minute through Adams, followed three minutes later by a score for Van der Merwe, after a clever pass from Sam Simmonds.

Van der Merwe scored his second try as a clever grubber kick from Farrell got the ball behind a high Sharks defensive line and the left winger outpaced the defence, before the fourth try went to Aki after a break from the scrum to set up a pick and drive.

The Sharks, without nine players in the Springbok camp for the Test series this month, struggled to handle the Lions’ pressure but looked better after the break and scored first through flanker Venter.

But they continued to commit simple mistakes, which the Lions were quick to capitalise on.

First Adams, chasing a sloppy home cleanout, scored in the 57th minute, and Rees-Zammit got his try when Adams picked up a speculative Sharks kick and turned defence into attack as he put away his Welsh compatriot down the right wing.

Van der Merwe sped away to complete his hat-trick six minutes from time, matched by Adams minutes later. He now has nine tries in his three Lions games.

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