Sharks can win it up front…

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 4 Jul 2008 at 09:20

There are two key factors that will determine whether the Sharks beat the Bulls tomorrow night.

The first is whether Steven Sykes is passed fit to play at lock. Alistair Hargreaves is the weak link in the Sharks tight five at the moment; he is too light and doesn’t play a tight enough game to suit the Sharks typical strength. With Sykes back in the number 4 jersey, the Sharks’ regular Super 14 lock partnership will be restored and the cohesion of the tight five as a whole will benefit.

The Sharks have, in BJ Botha, Jannie du Plessis and Deon Carstens, the best front-row depth in this year’s competition, bar none. The return of Botha for this game should offset any weakness (perceived or real) that Craig Burden’s tight performances have introduced. The fact that Burden’s opposite number Kuün is also learning the ropes at hooker should even out the contest somewhat. The new lineout laws are a paradigm shift which is already affecting all the rakes in this year’s competition and based on form to date, the Bulls number 2 is having just as much trouble adapting as Burden, or anyone else.

With tight five dominance assured, the other key factor is what sort of performance Nicolas Strauss turns in at blindside. He’s a complete unknown, one who disappeared off the Sharks radar a few years ago when any path into the Sharks team was blocked by the likes of Shaun Sowerby, Charl van Rensburg and (dare we say) Brad Mcleod-Henderson. He would appear to have taken his chances at Bedford and emerged as a crowd favourite, based on reports. That said, he has been playing in what amounts to the second division, so the Currie Cup is a definite step up from that level of competition. At 28 years old, he’s hardly a fresh youngster, though. All we can hope is that his time playing in the unforgiving English winters has made him hard as nails, because that’s what we’re going to need against the Bulls.

And that’s that, really. I will put my whatnots on the block and predict that, should we attain superiority up-front, we will win. Charl Macleod is going to be too much of a handful for that spanner the Bulls have at 9 this year and the further down the line you go, the more evident it becomes that it is the Sharks boys who have more skill and talent than their Bulls counterparts.

Come on Steve, come on Nic… we need you guys to come through for us tomorrow night.


  • WARNING: Seriously biased Keo-style reporting above… read at your peril ;)

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.07.08 09:21:32 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Shame – Craig battled last week. Hope it is better tomorrow.

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.07.08 09:26:56 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • @Nessa (Comment 2) : did he? I saw one skew throw… he was taken off straight afterwards

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.07.08 09:28:12 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Nothing wrong with optimism, if you can back it up with a reasonable argument. My initial concerns have been that we will lose, but this at least makes me feel a lot more positive.

    As to the lineouts, they are becoming a huge lottery and the defensive team actually has the advantage, having three jumping pods to the thower’s two.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.07.08 09:28:56 by hellbent Reply

    Under 21 player
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) :

    No – there were a few – unless I am mistaken.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.07.08 09:29:28 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • I am glad they left BJ here – we can definitely benefit from that.

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.07.08 09:30:25 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • you guys aren’t going to like the “probable team” I just saw on IOL…

    Seems Sykes, Kockott and Barritt are all out. Monty at 10, Chris Jordaan at 14… and SKIPPER STARTING AT HOOKER!

    Hope it’s just Vata Ngobeni getting carried away

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.07.08 09:32:54 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Here it is… just in case it’s accurate:

    Sharks team (probable): Stefan Terblanche, Chris Jordaan, Waylon Murray, Andries Strauss, Henno Mentz,Monty Dumond, Scott Mathie, Keegan Daniel, Nick Strauss, Jacques Botes, Johann Muller (captain), Albert van den Berg, BJ Botha, Skipper Badenhorst, Deon Carstens. Reserves: Craig Burden, Jannie du Plessis,Alistair Hargreaves, Skholiwe Ndlovu, Charl McLeod, Riaan Swanepoel,Andrew Borgen.

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.07.08 09:34:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    Oh boy! I think they are being harsh on Craig – he had an average game before they took him off last week – but he is still yards better than Skipper.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.07.08 09:34:33 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • Would be very surprised if they played Scott ahead of Charl.

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.07.08 09:35:25 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :

    Chris Jordaan?!????!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.07.08 09:38:23 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
  • It was quite funny last week when the Sharks scored that last try – I didn’t know who the player was that scored. Had to look him up on the site.

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.07.08 09:43:02 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : :shock: Oi!

    …it POURS!

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.07.08 09:45:43 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 11) : Rovers wing/fullback… former Paarl Gim boy.

    That’s as much as I know.

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.07.08 09:45:53 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @Nessa (Comment 12) : Agreed! Who is Chris Jordaan?
    @robdylan (Comment 8) : Where is this new flanker you were talking of. And why would they start with Scott surely McLeod should start, he was a real hand full last week!

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.07.08 09:52:07 by Sharksmad Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's DudetteSuper Rugby player
  • @Sharksmad (Comment 15) : Nic Strauss is the new flanker. As for Jordaan, see 14 above.

    I agree Macleod offers more than Mathie

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.07.08 09:53:26 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Has Plum taken a spread bet on the Bulls ?

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.07.08 10:30:30 by Ragged Reply

    RaggedVodacom Cup player
  • F&*%$ sakes. Why do the boks and management always make the all blacks to be gods. For pete sake Pieter stop bowing down to these guys. We are the best team in the world not them. It also pissed me off last night when Boots & All were interviewing John Smit they played video clips of the all blacks scoring tries against the Boks. Why DIDN’T they play clips of the Boks scroring tries. So it now seems that even supersport are putting the All Blacks on a pedestal… why why why do allot of south africans and springboks bend over for the all blacks all the time. At the moment we are far better than them but seriously think the Boks still don’t believe they can beat them in nz judging by the comments from some of them in the past few days.

    Come on Pieter, Boks and supersport – grow some cocks and believe!!!!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.07.08 10:32:44 by bigg Reply

    biggUnder 19 player

    Weather forecast for PTA, tomorrow…. :???:

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.07.08 10:44:10 by I'ce (TKMITFM) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
  • So are the Sharks going to release their teamsheet 5 minutes before kick off?

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.07.08 10:56:03 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
  • If truth be told Skipper made a big difference last week when he came on to the field, Im not surprised to see him being touted for a starting berth.

    Fark – just heard on the news that a police helicopter has been shot down by robbers in the Soweto area. :shock:

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.07.08 11:03:20 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 21) : WHAT????????

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.07.08 11:20:55 by PJLD Reply
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 20) : 5 minutes after

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.07.08 11:22:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @PJLD (Comment 22) :
    My thoughts exactly, fortunatly no one killed.

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.07.08 11:25:48 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
  • Sharks side; :shock:
    Sharks Match 22:

    15. Stefan Terblanche
    14. Monty Dumond
    13. Waylon Murray
    12. Andries Strauss
    11. Henno Mentz
    10. Brad Barritt
    9. Scott Mathie
    8. Keegan Daniel
    7. Nic Strauss
    6. Jacques Botes
    5. Johann Muller ( Capt )
    4. Albert van den Berg
    3. BJ Botha
    2. Skipper Badenhorst
    1. Deon Carstens

    16. Craig Burden
    17. Jannie du Plessis
    18. Alistair Hargreaves
    19. Skholiwe Ndlovu
    20. Charl McLeod
    21. Riaan Swanepoel
    22. Chris Jordaan

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.07.08 11:54:04 by Ragged Reply

    RaggedVodacom Cup player
  • none of the Sharks have exactly covered themselves with glory in the last two matches, but then neither have the Bulls… could be anyones game… i hope the boys pull it together and have a great game

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.07.08 12:26:07 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.