For the Sharks to stand any chance against the Brumbies tomorrow, the forward pack is going to have to be in absolutely imperious form. Leading that charge must be open side flanker Keegan Daniel, who has been a bit quiet since his two-try heroics against the Blues over a month ago.
The Sharks have the firepower in the tight five to take the Brumbies to the cleaners. With Bismarck du Plessis, BJ Botha and Johann Muller all World Cup winners and Beast Mtawarira and Steven Sykes rapidly coming on, one just can’t see the Brumbies tights living with them for the full 80, particularly given the Sharks reserve depth. The Brumbies have definite weaknesses at hooker and prop and the Sharks front row will need to keep the pressure on right from the start.
In the loose trio, however, the Brumbies have a master spoiler in George Smith, as well as two big ball cariers in former Reds star Mitch Chapman and number 8 Julian Salvi. The Sharks have turned over plenty ball at the breakdown in recent weeks through not getting their fetchers to the ball in time. Failure in this area against the Brumbies will see Smith virtually win the game on his own.
For the Sharks to ensure that their backline has enough ball with which to win this match, Keegan Daniel has to use his superior pace to teach the old master a lesson. The Brumbies trio won’t be able to live with their Sharks counterparts when it comes to pace, but Daniel needs to be the one to do the damage here. He needs to play with a single goal in mind: “I will not be beaten to the breakdown”.
Let’s see if he’s up to the task.Tweet