KSA Shark ©

Frankie Knuckles has a Plan!


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Currie Cup on 26 Sep 2008 at 07:48

What does it take to throw a rugby game? The Rugby Guru aires his views.

I am not talking about Vinnie the Enforcer and Frankie Knuckles paying a visit to Loftus on a Wednesday morning and convincing the Bulls to take a dive against Boland so that Don Luigi can collect on the SuperBru pools, but rather a team taking a calculated risk by purposefully fielding an under strength team. Now some readers would contend that Province do that every time Luke Watson makes the run-on side but the practice is not unfamiliar in SA Rugby. Many an ambitious Super 14 coach has fielded fifteen pud-knockers against the Crusaders in Canterbury believing that a well rested first choice squad will manage to burgle a victory the following week against less formidable opposition such as the Highlanders or the Chiefs. It could be considered underhanded but if the final goal is to benefit your own championship prospects then why not?All of which brings me to the final two rounds of the Currie Cup and the prospect of an unlikely Lions victory in either of their final two games. The Lions need two points to be pretty much assured of a fourth place finish but with the Sharks and Western Province on their agenda Joburgs Pride despite sitting in third place are in real danger of not making the playoffs. The Sharks on the other hand are handily placed to finish on top of the pile and in so doing will ensure themselves home ground advantage for a prospective semi-final and possible final – assuming of course that they want to play the final in Durban. The Sharks have won the Currie Cup on four occasions and three of those victories were away from Kings Park which contrary to popular belief is anything but a fortress.

Consider the Sharks performance in their ten final appearances:

1984

Western Province

19

Natal

9

Cape Town

1990

Northern Transvaal

12

Natal

18

Pretoria

1992

Transvaal

13

Natal

14

Johannesburg

1993

Natal

15

Transvaal

21

Durban

1995

Natal

25

Western Province

17

Durban

1996

Transvaal

15

Natal

33

Johannesburg

1999

Natal

9

Lions

32

Durban

2000

Natal

15

Western Province

25

Durban

2001

Western Province

29

Natal

24

Cape Town

2003

Blue Bulls

40

Natal Sharks

19

Pretoria

The Sharks have a 40% winning record in Currie Cup Finals, they haven’t won the competition in twelve years and their only victory in Durban was back in 1995. Add to that last years semi-final defeat in Durban against the Lions and the 2007 Super 14 Final loss against the Bulls and there must be those down at Shark Central who despite the revenue a final brings believe that the best chance of lifting the trophy is to actually play away from home! All of which brings me to this weekend’s game at Coca Cola Park and the visit paid to John Plumtree by some Italian gentlemen who hopefully made him an offer he can’t refuse.

The equation is very simple – the Sharks’ best chance of an easy route to the final and possible victory is to throw the game against the Lions on Saturday! Here is the reason…

The biggest threat right now to any of the top three placed teams are Western Province who lie in fourth place and as a result would need to play a semi-final away from home against the log toppers who are most likely to be the Sharks. There is a possibility that Province can finish third but why even take that chance when you can engineer your own destiny. By losing to the Lions the Sharks give up first place to the Bulls but they also ensure that the best finish Western Province can muster is fourth place and a semi final date at Loftus with the Bulls. It is highly unlikely that the Sharks will lose to the Lions at home and they are guaranteed a final against the winners of the Bulls/Province game which will be an epic affair that will seriously drain the resources of the eventual winners. If Province win which is not exactly unlikely the Sharks get a home final at any rate against the only side they have managed to beat in a final at home, and if the Bulls win the Sharks may need to travel to Pretoria but historically they are more likely to win there than in Durban.

Depending on exactly what deal has been struck with Frankie and Vinnie the Sharks could also opt for the old New Zealand Super 14 High Scoring scorcher where they win at Coca Cola Park but the eventual score-line is something like 46 points to 41 and the Lions secure third place thanks to the two bonus points they receive, while the Sharks stay on top of the log and ensure a home semi and final assuming of course that they can beat Western Province or even Free State in the semi final. This is a more risky approach but it does open up the possibility that the Lions having secured a play-off place have nothing to lose at Newlands and as a result could spring a surprise or deny Province the bonus point which opens up the way for the Cheetahs who are pretty much guaranteed 10 points from their last two outings.

Intriguing – really intriguing! “Doris get me Eddie the Bookie on the phone will ya? I wanna put ten grand on the Lions to play the Sharks in the semi’s and find out what’s the odds on a final at Loftus?”



10 Comments

  • Now some readers would contend that Province do that every time Luke Watson makes the run-on side

    :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.09.08 07:53:29 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • where they win at Coca Cola Park but the eventual score-line is something like 46 points to 41 and the Lions secure third place thanks to the two bonus points they receive, while the Sharks stay on top of the log and ensure a home semi and final

    A scenario I could very well live with :lol:

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.09.08 08:13:03 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
    csbSuper Rugby player
     
  • Let’s just go out and look after ourselves and let the Lions do the same. They’ll get their points against Province next week

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.09.08 08:29:45 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Amen. This better be our last AWAY game.

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.09.08 08:37:12 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 2) : that would be nice lol

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.09.08 08:47:07 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    sharks_loverAssistant coach
     
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 2) : that would also mean lions play bulls in semi’s in pta

    cheetahs or wp in durbs

    lions sharks durbs final ?? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.09.08 08:48:59 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    sharks_loverAssistant coach
     
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 6) :

    And Sharks_Lover is on a mono-roll again!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.09.08 08:56:05 by I'ce (Rebel With a Cause) Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • I think we need to resign ourselves to the fact that we’ve got the Blue okes again in the final, if we manage to get there

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.09.08 09:28:58 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :

    Ag Jinne tog… :???:

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.09.08 09:29:44 by I'ce (Rebel With a Cause) Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : A truer statement has yet to be made :grin:

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.09.08 09:54:20 by Sauce Reply
    Author
    Worcestershire SauceCurrie Cup player
     

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