robdylan

No luck for Sharks, I fear


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 19 Mar 2009 at 07:38
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A combination of tour fatigue, the lack of a steady pivot and their diabolical Australian record will conspire to down the Sharks in Perth on Saturday. I want to be wrong here, chaps, but I’m afraid I just can’t see any light at the end of this week’s tunnel.

I’m looking for a seriously improved showing from the Sharks pack, with the tight five actually bothering to pitch for this week’s game – maybe hit a ruck or two, force a turnover? Who knows. Just about anything would be an improvement on last week’s shambles. The BIG Force back row will prove a handful, though and I expect to see them make a fair bit of ground through number 8 Richard Stanford, much as the Reds’ wrecking ball Leroy Houston did in Brisbane. The Sharks seem to go to sleep when faced with a large ball carrier in the back row – the damage done to us over the years by the likes of Sione Lauaki and Rocky Elsom is still fresh in my mind.

It’s at the back, though, where the Sharks are going to struggle most. I just don’t see the green combination of Kockott, Steyn and Swanepoel having the required cohesion to upset a Giteau-led Force back division. Steyn needs acres of space and oodles of time to be effective at pivot and I fear he will have neither. We can only hope that he keeps a cool head and minimises the damage, but even with my most pathetically pro-Sharks glasses on I just can’t see a way for him to get one over the little Aussie wizard. It’s going to be the Giteau show out there on Saturday – unless the Sharks can get in a number of big hits early on in the game and disrupt his focus.

The next two weeks are going to be crucial for the Sharks and I for one would rather see us regroup properly back in Durban for a crunch showdown against the Brumbies, than throw everything into achieving an unlikely victory against the Force, only to risk our first home defeat in two years a week later. The character of this team is going to be sorely tested and I hope, nay pray, that’s we’ll be equal to that test.

In the other games, I see the Matfield-less Bulls losing to the Canes, the Highlanders beating the Cheetahs, just like everybody else, the Blues scraping past the Chiefs and the Waratahs beating the Crusaders in Sydney. Oh – and in case anybody still cares about the Lions, their is a small chance that they could bounce back in style and give the Brumbies a big klap. More likely, though, is that the ponies will run wild all over the highveld pussies on their way to a BIG win.

It’s rugby time… bring it on!



54 Comments

  • A wee bit of good news from a mate in WA…

    Shepherd, talisman Brown and super-quick Cummins are more than likely all out for the game…

    And they’ll all be playing in pink boots and jerseys!!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.03.09 07:50:05 by bryce_in_oz Reply
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  • Key weakness at the back is that no longer is Steyn there to defend the midfield channel… like he has so effectively this season…

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.03.09 07:51:55 by bryce_in_oz Reply
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  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 1) : for breast cancer?

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.03.09 07:52:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • I agree Robster.

    I doubt the Sharks will be able to take this one. :roll:

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.03.09 07:54:47 by wpw Reply
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  • Eish Robbo Man. now you have my nerves shot!! :sad:

    @bryce_in_oz (Comment 1) : @robdylan (Comment 3) :

    True?? Thats a nice gesture!! :grin:

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.03.09 07:55:36 by Ice (B.A Fisherman) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) :

    @Ice (B.A Fisherman) (Comment 5) :

    Indeed…

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.03.09 08:23:15 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • I agree to a large extent with you Rob, the Sharks have a tough task ahead.

    That said it is quite easy to see how they should play to give themselves a chance.

    Play Bulls rugby.

    Dominate upfront which they are well capable of, control set phases in line-outs and scrums, and get the 15 on the park tuned in to all performing the role of fetchers and cleaners come ruck time.

    If they play a wide open game they will get slaughtered.

    Play percentages and once in the Force’s half, hit around the rucks 80% of the time.

    Take points whenever on offer in their half.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.03.09 08:28:26 by Morné Reply
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  • “No luck for Sharks, I fear”…Sounds like toothless Sharks :roll:

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.03.09 08:51:52 by Charlie Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 7) : It did not work the last time in Perth against the Force :wink:

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.03.09 08:52:50 by Charlie Reply

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  • You’re just calling it as you see it Rob, like you always do, and I can’t fault the logic behind your predictions…except that I think the Chiefs will beat the Blues by a few.

    I can’t wait to rip this article apart after the Sharks rip the Force apart on the field. ( I’m sure you’re looking forward to that too :wink: )

    Expecting a tough game, like all the other games, but if we can play like we did in the 2nd half against the Stormers…we can be able to counter the negative effects brought about by Ruan’s and Jean’s absence.

    May the rugby gods be with Steyn’s boot…accurate long kicks…penalties and drops from the halfway line…we’ll need them all.

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.03.09 08:57:29 by blackshark Reply

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  • Superbru is a real struggle this week…not many easy calls..except maybe the Highlanders

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.03.09 09:02:29 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I hate it when polls read ‘Can the Sharks….’ :shock:
    Of course any team can beat any other team on any given day. The question should read ‘ will the Sharks…’ or ‘do you think the Sharks will….’

    My rant for the day….Morning all!! :grin:

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.03.09 09:15:37 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Wow, a week in rugby is really long. From the invincible to the incompetent in 7 days. :twisted: :wink:

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.03.09 09:16:51 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 13) : So true

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.03.09 09:21:24 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 13) : exactly. :neutral:
    what a depressing way to start morning (plus it is reaining).

    THE SHARKS CAN DO IT :lol:
    let’s cheer up

    @Pokkel (Comment 11) : telling me … and what about LMS (are we still riding on chetahs backs :lol:

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.03.09 09:21:32 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 15) : Probably a good bet…Brumbies also quite sure

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.03.09 09:25:38 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 16) :
    The Lions could’ve put up a fight…but i don’t think they had a good week to prepare… :roll:

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.03.09 09:32:42 by blackshark Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 13) : who said anything abot incompetemt…

    Man, I just can’t win with you! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.03.09 09:34:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @blackshark (Comment 17) : You think… :?: :wink:

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.03.09 09:40:22 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) :
    Just commenting on contrasting articles/headlines within a short space of time. This one indicates that if we do win we will be lucky.
    Anyway a bit of stirring now and then never hurt anybody. :wink:

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.03.09 09:43:53 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 20) :
    Oh how the mighty have fallen… :lol:

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.03.09 09:46:48 by blackshark Reply

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  • Yes “we” have to improve the defence – that we knew after chiefs already and yes the structured attack is not there yet. “We” will struggle without pienaar or Deysel but it’s not like they are suddenly irreplaceable.

    One bad game does not suddenly make a bad team. The sharks to take this one (and the rest) :cool:

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.03.09 09:58:08 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 20) : Ja, but luckily for us we do not have to keep the woodenspoon… :twisted:

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.03.09 10:08:31 by Charlie Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 20) : it’s a lot easier to criticise than to create, isn’t it?

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.03.09 12:02:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’m going for a narrow Sharks win this week. I feel the combination of the loss last week (eliminating the complacency) plus some extra urgency being injected by the newbies will see the Sharks home. :razz:

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.03.09 14:39:33 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 25) : which newbies :?:
    the ones on the bench that do not get to come on :?: :lol:
    or you are just thinking about swanepoel in plural.

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.03.09 14:43:08 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 26) : Yip Swannie, getting a start and Justin Downey on the bench.

    Then playing JS as a hooker and Jannie at tighthead. Good starting frontrow. Also gives us excellent impact from the bench with Beast and Bissie!

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.03.09 14:50:25 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 27) : Justin will definitely get on…

    I’d like to see the stats, but I reckon of all the reserves, the number 19 is the one statistically most likely to get onto the field at some stage of the game… I reckon it’s like 95%…

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.03.09 15:19:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • Rob I hope you are wrong. We didn’t not beat the Blues and Chiefs because of Pienaar at all. It was a lot of other players who won those games and I think they can do it again. We will be full of intensity this week after the shell shock loss last time and the guys will want to put it right. I also dont think they will want to be known as the guys who lost to that Pink team.

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.03.09 15:51:48 by deanoelsch Reply

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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 29) : The pink might just work to our favour :lol:

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.03.09 15:55:59 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Oh, been meaning to ask. Any word yet on Pienaar? Give me some good news; “It’s not as bad as thought he will be probably start against Brumbies.” Or am I dreamin’

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.03.09 15:57:02 by deanoelsch Reply

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  • Jeez and while I am completely off the topic, testrugby also throwing a spanner in the works with Eaton… Wish I knew more about his fitness…

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.03.09 15:59:47 by deanoelsch Reply

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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 31) : or “it was not bad so the medical stuff decided against sending him home and he will start off bench against Force”. :lol:

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.03.09 16:13:33 by rekinek Reply
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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 31) : he’ll be fit to face the Force. All of this Steyn at flyhalf shit was just a bad dream

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.03.09 16:17:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 29) : Ruan was key… you never saw him do anything, yet hte outside backs had plenty ball to play with. That proves that the flyhalf is doing his job

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.03.09 16:17:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) : But seriously? 3 weeks? 6 weeks?

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.03.09 16:18:21 by deanoelsch Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) :
    Absolutely, you dont create tries andd win you get criticised, or am I misreading the question? :wink:

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.03.09 16:19:01 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 36) : That looks serious… Let me add one of these in to lighten the mood. :lol: I agree he was key. Let Steyn pass the ball and not try score Forrest Gump tries from behind his own try line and we could be fine. The less we see of Steyn on Saturday the better.

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.03.09 16:19:49 by deanoelsch Reply

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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 38) : amen :roll:

    @robdylan (Comment 34) : opposition misleading tactics by john rassie plumtree :mrgreen:

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.03.09 16:46:20 by rekinek Reply
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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 36) : no clue… he doesn’t call me much :)

    @Salmonoid (Comment 37) : you are – I suspect intentionally :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.03.09 16:48:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : why don’t u call him :wink: doesn’t answer :?: :lol: :wink:

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.03.09 16:59:06 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 41) : don’t have his number

  • Comment 42, posted at 19.03.09 17:04:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : so much for this idea then :mrgreen:

  • Comment 43, posted at 19.03.09 17:07:30 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 43) : From all your sarcastic responses, I take it no news has been released then about Pienaar’s fitness. :lol:

  • Comment 44, posted at 19.03.09 17:39:34 by deanoelsch Reply

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  • 3 to 4 weeks i read in Beeld. By the way i have absolutely no comment about this weekends game.

  • Comment 45, posted at 19.03.09 18:01:02 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 44) : sarcastic :?: – meeee :?: :mrgreen:
    just trying to be funny :cool:

    haven’t heard anything about pienaar except when initially it was said about 3 weeks.

  • Comment 46, posted at 19.03.09 18:01:37 by rekinek Reply
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  • Luckily for the Sharks they do not need to win this game. They are in a good position to win the rest of their games and that, plus a bonus point here and there, will be more than enough.

    For the Bulls this will be their 1st real test. We will find out whether they are legitimate contenders or not.
    They do not really need the win but a good showing is imperative.

  • Comment 47, posted at 19.03.09 19:50:38 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 47) : the sharks will win this game because – they CAN. – i’m serious

  • Comment 48, posted at 19.03.09 21:46:18 by rekinek Reply
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  • a@JarsonX (Comment 45) : that would mean availability for cheetahs only (11 April) – ooops not so good – we have brumbies and hurricanes in between :neutral:

  • Comment 49, posted at 19.03.09 22:07:02 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 48) :

    I agree. A wake up call, such as we got last week, is handy when needed.

  • Comment 50, posted at 19.03.09 22:39:53 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @deanoelsch (Comment 31) :

    Bit of a worry is it’s the same injury that ended Gysie’s career…

  • Comment 51, posted at 20.03.09 03:30:22 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 50) :

    Depends who got the wake-up… hopefully Plummo did too…

  • Comment 52, posted at 20.03.09 03:32:44 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • i had a dream last nite. Was playing for the Sharks against the waratahs, bryce lawrence the ref. We were 13-10 behind with only seconds left. Tahs has the ball 5 meters out, i intercept the pass, running down the line beating 2 defenders, 1st one with pure speed 2nd one with a dummie kick, i score under the posts. Then geuss what…. That fooking bryce lawrence blows on his whistle AFTER ive scored saying ive stepped on the sideline in our own 22. Sharks loose the game. I Hate these aussie farts!

  • Comment 53, posted at 20.03.09 07:03:54 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Go Sharks!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 54, posted at 20.03.09 07:33:59 by KSA Shark © Reply

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