robdylan

Embracing the favourites tag


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 11 Mar 2009 at 10:56
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It’s time for the entire Sharks family – the coaching staff, the team and also the fans – to accept the fact that we are now favourites to win the Super 14. We need to embrace this standing, earned through hard work and use it to our advantage for the remainder of the competition.

Truly great sides have an aura of invincibility about them. The Crusaders had this for the better part of the last decade – anyone who played them knew that they would have to do something almost superhumanly special in order to get a result; even when playing badly, the Crusaders seemed to find a way to win. I reckon that playing against a side who comes across as unbeatable has to have an effect on the mental state of those who oppose them. I mean – how many times haven’t we seen South African sides on tour effectively throw a game against the Crusaders by picking a weaker side? Opposition coaches know that their chances of beating the unbeatable champions are incredibly slim anyway, so why risk their front-line players?

Now, the Sharks clearly have a long way to go before they can be considered anywhere near the Canterbury side in terms of championship credentials – we’ll need at least seven more Super Rugby titles that we currently have to our name, for one thing! One can’t dispute the fact that, after a 16-game unbeaten streak and starting off the 2009 Super 14 with four straight wins, two of those in New Zealand, the Sharks are starting to look very much like a side that won’t easily be beaten. The New Zealand press, public and (most importantly) bookmakers have all acknowledged this fact. Perhaps it’s time for us usually sceptical South African sports fans to do the same?

It starts with the Reds this weekend. They are a young team full of promise, sure, but they haven’t managed to win a bloody thing this year, if you consider that beating the Cheetahs doesn’t count. They have suffered a number of injuries and are being forced to field a weaker side this weekend than usual – which is saying a lot. I’m tired of being polite and trying to talk up the opposition, saying how tough the game is going to be, and so on. The reality of the situation is that the Reds don’t deserve to be on the same field as the Sharks at the moment. We need to go out there on Saturday and remind these guys that they are the pretenders and we are the real deal.

It’s time for us all to grow up a little bit. We cannot, given what we have already achieved, continue trying to claim underdog status every time we take the field. The players need to be mature enough to wear the mantle of favourites without it choking them and deliver consistent performances commensurate with their reputations.

Come on Sharks. Let’s do this thing!



77 Comments

  • Well the NZ tab has made the Sharks favourites a week or two ago already.

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.03.09 11:00:34 by McLovin Reply
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  • And deservedly so.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.03.09 11:01:36 by McLovin Reply
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  • Sharks arrogance! :twisted:

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.03.09 11:14:55 by Morné Reply
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  • Rob,

    Why on your articles only, does the Britney Spears add banner come up telling us her IQ is 105?

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.03.09 11:15:45 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) :

    Definitely!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.03.09 11:21:30 by wpw Reply
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  • EISH I don’t know.

    The team are doing damn well and deserve credit and praise, but it is in my book a whole lot easier to drink champagne and boast about it than to eat humble pie.

    Therfore I would rather have small celebrations after each victory and then get on with focusing on the coming game.

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.03.09 11:24:07 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : I’m just waiting for Oubaas to come and explain why the thinks the Reds are going to beat us :)

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.03.09 11:28:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    Guess I was right :)

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.03.09 11:34:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) :

    Lemme expand on that.

    Embracing the favourites tag for a match is cool, even having the bookies install you as favourites is great, but “Sharks can go all the way”, ” Sharks aiming for record” type of articles are WAY premature IMO.

    We have only played 4 games.
    It IS an excellent feeling to fly out of NZ undefeated, and if we can do that in Aus I will probably be one of the loudest mouths on here (am already anyway)

    Let’s face facts though. We ALL raved about how easy our tour was for a change and how well it would set up the rest of the season for us if we could do well on tour.

    We have beaten 4 sides in 4 matches and in all but ONE of those matches have we done more (achieve a win) than we should have done in any case.

    let’s first see how we do on our return to SA before we start with the “All the way” and “record” articles.

    Embrace the favourties tag but don’t predict conquering the world after completion of 25% of the tournament.

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.03.09 11:35:38 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    They AIN’T going to beat us, but it AIN’T going to be a “rock up and take 5 points” match

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.03.09 11:37:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • What if heaven forbid you guys lost Ruan or even worse Rory to long term injury??

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.03.09 11:37:43 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 11) :

    We’d buy Grant or Janua……….No wait I must be drunk.

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.03.09 11:39:15 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 11) : We have depth in our squad, a few players can even switch positions with ease… :twisted:

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.03.09 11:57:09 by Charlie Reply

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  • @Charlie (Comment 13) :

    Hey so can the Stormers, Most of their loosies can play prop or a variety of positions in the backline.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.03.09 11:58:49 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : yes – you are right.

    Embracing the favourites tag and learning to perform to our potential while wearing it is a must. Using it to our advantage would be even better.

    We may be the early season favourites, but that means nothing if we don’t go out and play winning rugby.

    I suspect we’re actually on the same page here :)

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.03.09 12:00:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : But can they manage the pressure :?:

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.03.09 12:01:39 by Charlie Reply

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  • so – no more excuses :lol:

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.03.09 12:07:53 by rekinek Reply
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  • So who will play at 10 if you lost Ruan???

    And how much experience does your back up to Rory have??? :roll:

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.03.09 12:08:27 by wpw Reply
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  • being favourites has also a down fall.
    some teams playing their hearts out to beat you and not just fielding second stringers.

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.03.09 12:08:44 by rekinek Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 18) : FRANSIE :lol:

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.03.09 12:11:14 by rekinek Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 18) : Len Olivier

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.03.09 12:31:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) :

    Wow, the GREAT Len Olivier who has NEVER played a minute of Super rugby in his life. :???:

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.03.09 12:36:43 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 22) : you need to start at some point. don’t you :?:

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.03.09 12:43:06 by rekinek Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 18) :

    Ruan is Rory’s back-up So i’d say he has oodles of experience.

    Steyn would play at 10 and Swannepoel would play at 12/13 until Murray is ready.

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.03.09 12:48:31 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • bet365 has the Sharks as favourites but STILL at 3.75. I put 200 down. :cool:

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.03.09 13:13:47 by klempie Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : Cry me a river. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.03.09 13:14:34 by klempie Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : I think that being the favorite can sometimes create complacency….BUT Plumtree won’t allow the Sharks heads to become to big….just see how Steyns head has shrunk in the last couple of weeks…..was there even one dropgoal…I can’t remember but he’s definately looking much more like a team player

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.03.09 13:18:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • is it lunch time or what?

    Hello ello llo lo o

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.03.09 13:20:50 by rahul Reply

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  • @rahul (Comment 28) :

    I’m hungry!!! :roll:

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.03.09 13:22:44 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 29) : suprise that. Glad to see you changed your avatar to include the best player in England!

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.03.09 13:24:17 by rahul Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : @wpw (Comment 5) :

    Before you start you arrogance story again, some extracts from Keo’s corner on the Stormers. I didn’t want to mud sling, but you asked for it. :wink:

    “Now I hear the Stormers have become brave losers – heroes of adversity, a team full of character and a team who showed up their critics with a defiant display in Pretoria.

    It is because of utterances of this nature from within the Stormers squad that they will not be Super 14 champions, won’t make the play-offs and ultimately will find the rationale to excuse another season in which they drew the biggest crowd and returned the smallest reward.”

    “Their(Bulls) saving grace was they were playing a brave team burdened with the inexperience of 11 Test Springboks who were only too grateful to leave Loftus without too much humiliation.”

    The Sharks have reason to be a bit arrogant,so let it be.

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.03.09 13:25:15 by Pokkel Reply
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  • yeah bow down to the favourites you stormer swine. and as for you bull patties lick my feet.

  • Comment 32, posted at 11.03.09 13:25:40 by try time Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) :
    “I will probably be one of the loudest mouths on here”

    I, being your friend, cannot lie. Everyone calls you loud mouth shark when youre not around

  • Comment 33, posted at 11.03.09 13:26:03 by rahul Reply

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  • whoop whoop… it’s lunch time!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 11.03.09 13:30:47 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 34) : dont trample on anyone!!! :lol:

  • Comment 35, posted at 11.03.09 13:32:59 by rahul Reply

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  • @rahul (Comment 33) : The basking Shark

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.03.09 13:36:33 by rahul Reply

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  • The favourites tag is my favourite tag! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 37, posted at 11.03.09 13:37:17 by blackshark Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 34) :
    Awesome avatar :wink:

  • Comment 38, posted at 11.03.09 13:37:52 by blackshark Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 34) : Moet jou nou nie wee oor vriet nie… :roll:

  • Comment 39, posted at 11.03.09 13:40:49 by Charlie Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 38) : better, not awesome.
    :neutral:

  • Comment 40, posted at 11.03.09 13:41:22 by rahul Reply

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  • To maintain this tag we need to keep winning games…Plum knows it…I bet the boys know it too.

    A few bad results and we’ll drop down to contenders… :sad: Can’t have that… :razz:

  • Comment 41, posted at 11.03.09 13:44:42 by blackshark Reply

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  • @rahul (Comment 40) :

    Rangers fans are not allowed to look down on Liverpool fans… :evil:

  • Comment 42, posted at 11.03.09 13:46:41 by blackshark Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 22) :

    I bet Peter Grant had a 1000 minutes of Super rugby on his dayboo… :roll:

  • Comment 43, posted at 11.03.09 13:48:18 by blackshark Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 12) : HAHAHAHA

    Go shopping in France

  • Comment 44, posted at 11.03.09 13:50:09 by rahul Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 42) : Never! :razz: Havent been to the last 16 for a few years now. I still got the t-shirt :mrgreen:

  • Comment 45, posted at 11.03.09 13:53:55 by rahul Reply

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  • I’m back!!! :???:

  • Comment 46, posted at 11.03.09 13:54:13 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 46) : Injury list?

  • Comment 47, posted at 11.03.09 13:57:53 by rahul Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 32) : Bull patties – good one. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 48, posted at 11.03.09 13:58:02 by McLovin Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 46) : Why no soccer thread last night? I even logged on to see if you were bragging :wink:

  • Comment 49, posted at 11.03.09 14:09:55 by rahul Reply

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  • @rahul (Comment 47) :

    I only had one hotdog and some fruit!!! :evil:

  • Comment 50, posted at 11.03.09 14:09:56 by wpw Reply
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  • @rahul (Comment 49) :

    I went to bed just before the game started!!! :oops:

    Kan jy dit glo??? :shock:

  • Comment 51, posted at 11.03.09 14:10:34 by wpw Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 48) : yeah it has a nice double meaning to it.

  • Comment 52, posted at 11.03.09 14:12:28 by try time Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 50) : better than having some fruit’s hotdog. :lol:

  • Comment 53, posted at 11.03.09 14:13:26 by try time Reply

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  • @wpw (Comment 51) : :evil: :evil: :evil:

  • Comment 54, posted at 11.03.09 14:13:44 by blackshark Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 53) : Ha ha … :mrgreen:

  • Comment 55, posted at 11.03.09 14:14:14 by blackshark Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 53) : :mrgreen:

    @wpw (Comment 51) : Disgusting! What a game though. Im nervous for the weekend now :???:

  • Comment 56, posted at 11.03.09 14:20:44 by rahul Reply

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  • Just watch some of highlights again and you will find that the sharks have been extremely lucky in the past 2 weeks. Opponents dropping the ball as they go over the try-line or going into touch micro-seconds before grounding the ball. We also had the referees struck with blindness on Saturday.
    It makes me wonder if the sharks are using up all their luck or are they wearing those special t-shirts this year?

  • Comment 57, posted at 11.03.09 14:22:25 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 57) : let’s see your bunch go win all their games in New Zealand first, then we can compare notes.

  • Comment 58, posted at 11.03.09 14:30:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 57) : go watch the highlights of all the other games. a lot more balls have been dropped. cheetahs have botched at least 4 tries. it seems to come with the new laws.

  • Comment 59, posted at 11.03.09 14:34:41 by try time Reply

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  • @fyndraai (Comment 57) :
    “Opponents dropping the ball as they go over the try-line or going into touch micro-seconds before grounding the ball.”(fyndraai)

    “I reckon that playing against a side who comes across as unbeatable has to have an effect on the mental state of those who oppose them. “(rob)

    see it’s already starting :lol:

  • Comment 60, posted at 11.03.09 14:35:04 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 60) : thanks for that :)

  • Comment 61, posted at 11.03.09 14:36:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 57) : and how many tries have the sharks botched. stefan has botched at least three. so the opposition were lucky we weren’t firing.

  • Comment 62, posted at 11.03.09 14:39:39 by try time Reply

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  • @rekinek (Comment 60) : @robdylan (Comment 61) : @try time (Comment 62) :

    You lucky favourites… :roll:

  • Comment 63, posted at 11.03.09 14:55:02 by blackshark Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 58) : Hurricanes, Highlanders, Crusaders, Waratahs, Brumbies is a pretty tough assignment. If the Bulls get about 12 points from that tour I’ll be very happy.

  • Comment 64, posted at 11.03.09 15:32:41 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 64) : yip
    waratahs – look good at home, hurricanes – look good, brumbies – depends on ref,
    highlanders and crusaders (unless they’ll manage to pick themselves up) – i say bulls should beat them.

  • Comment 65, posted at 11.03.09 15:45:17 by rekinek Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 64) : I reckon they’ll be close to 6-8 than to 12… but time will tell

  • Comment 66, posted at 11.03.09 15:56:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 66) : Come-on Rob don’t be so hard on the Bulls…they can get at least 9 points :roll:

  • Comment 67, posted at 11.03.09 16:05:29 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : Yeah I’m seriously worried about the arrogance of our fans. The way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose to the Reds this weekend. :sad:

  • Comment 68, posted at 11.03.09 22:10:36 by Villie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 66) : We have to more optimistic than that. Lets hope some of that Sharks-Luck comes their way this week, else they may have to beat the Sharks to get into the semis.
    Neither of us wants them to cost the Sharks a home final, do we?

  • Comment 69, posted at 12.03.09 00:08:11 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 68) : Arrogant fans are nothing to worry about, but the way the terms “we” and “us” are employed here, it looks like half the posters play in the team and I would worry about that. :smile:

  • Comment 70, posted at 12.03.09 00:23:52 by fyndraai Reply
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  • I worry that we’re only using one hooker one 9, one 10, one 12, one 15 for the entire 80minutes… players are burning out at full pace around the 60min mark not even in the middle of the comp… it’s not possible to maintain 100% under the ELV’s without using 22man…

  • Comment 71, posted at 12.03.09 04:45:58 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 71) :

    VERY valid concern. It burnt Eloff last season and i hope we can start giving the youngsters game time soon.

  • Comment 72, posted at 12.03.09 07:09:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 72) :

    Didn’t help that Smit had to go back off injured… but here’s hoping they start with reverse front row… as for the backs… Cronje still not ready to start unfortunately… and until Murray is back there are no options for the centres…

  • Comment 73, posted at 12.03.09 07:41:47 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 73) :

    Have a look at the Reds thread. It seems the reserves will get a run at the end. (I HOPE they do)

  • Comment 74, posted at 12.03.09 08:27:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @fyndraai (Comment 70) : fortunately they keep us out of starting XV :lol:

  • Comment 75, posted at 12.03.09 08:44:20 by rekinek Reply
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  • our bye isnt until round 11 and before that weve got tough games, brumbies, hurricanes and easier ones cheetahs and saders.

  • Comment 76, posted at 12.03.09 09:23:57 by jarsonx Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 70) : Unfortunately it is a worry. When fans get over cocky and just expect their team to turn up to win, it oftens come back to bite that team in the rear end. Just look at the SA cricket team for instance.

    And although the Sharks are a quality side and have been doing superbly so far, we are not quite at the level where we can expect to just turn up and pick up the win. There is a very fine line in sport and had we lost to either Stormers or Chiefs or both, things would be very different amongst the supporters!

  • Comment 77, posted at 12.03.09 10:56:36 by Villie Reply
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