Reputations are never totally underserved. For the last 12 years the Sharks have underachieved in a tournament they should have dominated since 1996.
Sharksworld contributor CapeShark tells us that Today will go a long way in helping erase this ‘choker status’.
I’ve always thought that being labelled a choker is a backhanded compliment in a way because it implies that one is largely successful. The only problem being that one is not successful when it actually counts. Of course I am referring to sport teams like the Proteas and the Sharks, and not to my own life, which is laden with success stories and tales of prosperity. But moving on…
I fancy myself as a bit of a closet psychologist, though I don’t even dare pretend to know as much as a guy like Tim Goodenough, the resident Sharks shrink. Still I am fascinated how teams as superhuman as the All Blacks are, are suddenly whimpering, legs-up-in-the-air, when it comes to the final cruncher.
The Sharks will never be in the same choker league as the All Blacks. To have last won a World Cup when PW Botha was president takes considerable skill.
However, the Sharks are chokers nonetheless. And not even the most rabid fan will deny that. Saturday represents the first real step in erasing the dreaded choker tag. From a psychological point-of-view IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. Think I’m being melodramatic? Consider that the Sharks have not beaten the Cheetahs in a Currie Cup game since 2003. That’s five years ago. And it’s been twelve (long, agonising) years since the Sharks lifted any silverware. Now when you plan for progress, as the self-help books point out, you plan to accomplish the small goals first. Duh! So come on, Sharks, break that 5-year hoodoo and move on to the 12-year bogey. If the Sharks actually do lift the Currie Cup come end of season, and pigs mysteriously take off into the open skies, then surely nothing can hold them back, not even a Super 14 final against the Crusaders in Christchurch. Hey, with BMT and self-belief, anything’s possible!
For a couple of years, the Stormers prided themselves in the Super 14 for not losing against local opposition. The fervent Cape rugby writers called it ‘the South African Grand Slam’. Then the Sharks took over that mantle. It has been this self-belief that has enabled them to consistently topple the SA teams in the Super 14. The same must now apply to the Currie Cup. And beating the Cheetahs for the first time in five years will give them that belief. Because apart from the early season wobbles against the Cheetahs and Bulls, the Sharks have turned the corner and comfortably deposed of the other teams including the sensational match last week against a full strength Bulls team. I, for one, will be watching Saturday’s game with renewed interest. Will the Sharks be masters of their own destiny or will they allow history to dictate to them?Tweet