This Saturday at 17:05 one of the biggest clashes of the Currie Cup season kicks off at Coca Cola Park when the Lions host the Sharks in a game that the Lions must win to ensure a place in the semi-finals, and the Sharks need a win to stay at the top of the Currie Cup Log.
Most people, even a fair number of Lions supporters, are saying that the Lions will not be able to win this one, but can I just remind all these people predicting a Sharks win that the Lions team thrive on situations like this, when no-one gives us a chance of victory, that is when we beat the odds and pull off the surprise victories!
I agree that the Sharks team looks impressive on paper, with few weak points, but then again there are some players in the Sharks side that can sometimes lose the plot, and if it happens to all of these players on the same day (Saturday), it could play into the hands of the Lions.
Also take note of the fact that the Sharks last tasted victory in a Currie Cup match in Johannesburg in 1996, and it shows that they might not have what it takes to win this crucial match.
Lets take a closer look at the teams: The Sharks pack is awesome, with perhaps the only slightly weak points at Tighthead, where Heinke will hopefully have the better of Jannie, and perhaps “Oom” Albert van den Berg, who is probably only in the team because his grandson is one of the selectors.
The Lions are excellent in the line-outs, so this is going to be a battle where the Lions might have a slight upper hand.
The Loosies, here it should be an even battle, with both teams sporting two seasoned campaigners and one youngster.
It’s in the backline where I think the Lions have the upper hand, and will pull this one through for us. Our guys are all willing to run at the opponents, and they are all good at it, with our backs scoring an impressive 17 tries in our last three matches (the forwards scored six). Luckily they face opposition like Ruan Pienaar, who does not like to take contact at all, and normally takes a breather after being tackled, and then off course Francois Steyn at Inside Centre, a huge mistake as he is going to attempt a drop goal with every ball he gets, thereby ensuring that the ball never gets to the Sharks outside centre and wings.
The Sharks Flyhalf, Michalak, also blows hot and cold, and can be quite shocking on one of his off days, so we will have to see what he does on Saturday. On a bad day, he can single handedly win the game for the Lions!
Anyway, enough of the serious stuff, the union provided me with a suite for this match where I will be entertaining 40 of the regulars of the forum on my website at www.transvaal.co.za, so this is promising to be a great day. We are also having a braai on the corner of 8th and Miller from about 13:30, if any of you Sharkies want to come and say hi!Tweet