robdylan

Hoping for the best


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 23 Apr 2009 at 10:12
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Well guys – it’s going to be a frustrating weekend for Sharks fans as we see our team inevitably slip down the log, while our weary players put their feet up and enjoy the long-overdue bye. What are the best and worst-case outcomes for us? Let’s have a look.

We need to remember that the Sharks do have a relatively benign run-in to the end of the round-robin, with three more home games to come. Two of those games are against supposedly weaker opposition (the Highlanders and out-of-form Waratahs) but the Sharks recent form against fancied and unfancied sides alike leaves no room for complacency. The final round-robin match between the Sharks and the Bulls, far from being the dog-fight for a first place finish that we all thought it would be, now looks like it might represent the Sharks last chance to make the semis at all. That’s in the future, though and, for the Sharks to progress, they simply have to win their next three matches and win them well.

The Sharks are currently in second place, equal on log points but behind on points difference to the Chiefs, crucially, the Hamilton outfit have also played one fewer game, as have no less than five other teams, all of whom could leapfrog the Sharks this weekend. The situation is not quite as dire as it would at first seem, though, since many of the contenders still have matches against other teams in a similar log position. It’s going to be a mad scramble for those four golden tickets, with only the narrowest of margins separating first from fourth – and fourth from fifth.

The key clash of the round is going to take place in Pretoria, with the Bulls and Chiefs very evenly-matched in terms of log points. Each side has a six-from-nine record, although the Chiefs have two bonus points more than the Bulls do. An away win would cement top spot for them and give them a very handy cushion at the top of the table. They still have to face the Stormers away and Brumbies at home, neither of which should trouble them overly. It’s the derby sandwiched in-between, against the Hurricanes, that could well define their final log position. The Bulls have it a little easier once they’ve played the Chiefs. They have the Force and Cheetahs at home, before heading to Durban to play the Sharks. My gut-feel is that whoever wins in Pretoria on Saturday will finish in top spot. For both sides, there is still the potential to slip up in the local derbies ahead, but I feel Saturday’s win will provide the momentum needed to go unbeaten for the next three rounds. For the Sharks, it will actually be better if the Chiefs win, because otherwise the Bulls will move ahead of them (leaving the Sharks behind both). Furthermore, if the Bulls come to Durban to play for top spot, I think they will have the motivation needed to beat the Sharks.

The Hurricanes and Blues are the other teams most likely to benefit at the Sharks expense this weekend. The former is at home to the Brumbies, while the Aucklanders take on a team from the other end of the colour spectrum, the woeful Reds. Now, while the Brumbies, fired up enough by the tragic loss of their pal Shawn Mackay to put down the bottle until the end of the tournament, can definitely do a number on at least one big team in the next few weeks, I don’t see either the Canes or the Blues losing to Australian opposition this week – not at home anyway. Both of these sides have a perilous run-in, with a match against each other thrown in, as well as some other clashes against class opposition thrown in. It will take a pretty extraordinary set of results for both to end up going through to the semis at the expense of the Sharks, but who knows what strange plans might be cooked up down in Long White Cloud land…

The Crusaders and (to a lesser extent) the Brumbies are the only other sides that can potentially unseat the Sharks. The Saders will stuff the Cheetahs and it will come down to points difference to determine whether they too move ahead of our boys. The Brumbies need maximum points from all their remaining games, so if they lose the Hurricanes this weekend, as I fear they will, it will be all over red rover for them.

So, assuming the Bullies squeak a close game against the Chiefs and the rest of the matches go according to plan, here’s what the log could look like once all teams are again even in terms of games played:

1 Bulls 33
2 Hurricanes 33
3 Blues 33
4 Chiefs 32
5 Sharks 31
6 Crusaders 31
7 Waratahs 28
8 Force 28
9 Brumbies 27
10 Highlanders 26



56 Comments

  • it’s gonna be a bloodbath.

    Force is my pick on LMS this week.

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.04.09 10:24:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • Every season there comes a point where we find ourselves shouting for the stormers!!!! It hurts!

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.04.09 10:30:35 by Rahul Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : Wish everyone would hurry up and pick, esp Bullies

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.04.09 10:31:39 by Rahul Reply

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  • Here comes the bonus point argument again! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.04.09 10:35:21 by Rahul Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    You are out of the competition, Howcome you get to make a pick? :razz:

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.04.09 10:47:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : no I’m not. :-)

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.04.09 10:48:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • I got the Sharks tie 4th after this weekend

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.04.09 10:52:23 by Rahul Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : He will be after this weekend, should have picked the lions :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.04.09 10:53:47 by Rahul Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    Oh I thought you were. :oops: :lol:

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.04.09 10:54:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Rahul (Comment 7) : there are no ties, dude :)

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.04.09 10:55:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Rahul (Comment 7) :

    Who are the first three guys to have the tie? :roll: :razz:

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.04.09 10:57:31 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : no – only one I’ve got wrong so far was Tahs v Bulls.

    Reckon I’m good for at least another two weeks… Force, then Sharks.

    It gets tricky after that. Will need Lions to beat Landers and Cheetahs to beat Stormers.

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.04.09 10:57:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Level on points then…

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : :razz:

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.04.09 11:00:22 by Rahul Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :

    I’ve noticed that Bullies has adopted the “you daon’t have to make it to the end, you only have to make it near to the end” attitude.

    He hasn’t picked the Reds or the Cheetahs yet. Obviously hoping the others get eliminated before he has to pick them. :lol:

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.04.09 11:00:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
    Are you going to drop the bomb or not?

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.04.09 11:01:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) :

    Alphaville, Forever young.

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.04.09 11:03:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : well, he’s not far wrong.

    To be honest, though, I’m pretty amazed at how well my strategy has worked out. I think I’ll go out in round 13, which is not bad at all

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.04.09 11:04:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : well done… you got it :)

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.04.09 11:09:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) :

    Pick anybody who plays the Cheetahs is a poor strategy. :sad: If The Cheetahs were a half decent team then that wouldn’t work. :wink:

    LMS was designed around a competition that had strength vs Strength teams not strong teams against teams who save themselves for one match a season.

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.04.09 11:18:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : ooh we are bitter about that loss :grin:

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.04.09 11:21:10 by Whindy Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : Let it go…. Aum…..Aum. Go to your happy place :razz:

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.04.09 11:21:21 by Rahul Reply

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  • @Whindy (Comment 20) :

    Who MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE??????????? :roll:

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :razz: :grin:

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.04.09 11:24:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 19) : i didn’t only pick against the Cheetahs!

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.04.09 11:39:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : :grin:

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.04.09 11:45:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    Feexed… feexed!

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.04.09 12:40:32 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • @Rahul (Comment 4) : not really

    it is more the argument of not loosing to the teams from the bottom :!: if you take these 2 games out of equasion – why would we need bonus points

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.04.09 12:51:55 by rekinek Reply
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  • Good piece Rob – I have been doing this calculations in my head – I need to recheck it but I got worse case scenario as 7th place :???:

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.04.09 12:53:08 by rekinek Reply
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  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 25) : not eligible for prize :)

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.04.09 12:53:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) :

    Mate bragging rights are all the rage…

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.04.09 13:07:15 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 29) : fair enough. Hey, when you’re good, you’re good

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.04.09 13:19:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : You havent won it yet! :razz:

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.04.09 14:09:02 by Rahul Reply

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  • @Rahul (Comment 31) : like I said – I reckon I’ll go out in week 13 when the Highlanders beat the Lions

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.04.09 15:02:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : I recon the lions will win this week! c’mon Cheetahs! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.04.09 15:09:43 by Rahul Reply

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  • @Rahul (Comment 33) : if they do, I’m stuffed :)

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.04.09 15:15:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) : Lions and Cheetahs win will take care of 9 of the 15 left. Not likely though.. esp Cheetahs :???:

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.04.09 15:18:36 by Rahul Reply

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  • Guys is there any news about the citings?

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.04.09 15:39:14 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Rahul (Comment 35) : Naas Olivier at flyhalf, FFS… it’s a bloody joke

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.04.09 15:42:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 36) : the hearings are currently underway

  • Comment 38, posted at 23.04.09 15:44:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 38) : o dear how long do they take? I thought they would be quick :oops: I guess I have to keep my butterflies in check for another day :sad:

  • Comment 39, posted at 23.04.09 15:51:10 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 39) : these things can take 3-4 hours. Sit tight :)

  • Comment 40, posted at 23.04.09 15:57:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 39) : from SHARKSRUGBY

    Disciplinary hearings took place into the citings of Sharks players Keegan Daniel and Jannie du Plessis on Thursday, following their team’s 13-10 defeat to the Crusaders on Saturday, but the outcomes were positive in both cases.

    Their cases were both heard in Durban by SANZAR Judicial Officer Advocate Dekker Govender following the Vodacom Super 14 match at The Absa Stadium Durban on Saturday 18 April 2009 and the outcomes were as follows:

    Keegan Daniel

    Flanker Keegan Daniel was cited for a dangerous tackle on Crusaders centre Tim Bateman in the 14th minute of the first half. Daniel pleaded not guilty to the charge and was defended by attorney Gerrie Swart and was also accompanied by Sharks coach John Plumtree.

    The incident happened in front of an Assistant Referee Craig Joubert who reported the dangerous tackle to the Match Referee Mark Lawrence who awarded a penalty against The Sharks.

    The defence supplied further footage which revealed another angle to the tackle that showed the initial contact made by Daniel on Bateman to be below the right shoulder. Bateman ducked and as a result, Daniel’s arm made contact with his neck.

    A penalty was awarded by the Match Referee and the Judicial Officer decided to take no further action.

    Jannie du Plessis

    Tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis was cited for striking Crusaders flanker Richie McCaw in the 38th minute of the match.

    Du Plessis also pleaded not to his charge and was also represented by attorney Gerrie Swart and was also accompanied by Sharks coach John Plumtree.

    The match referee Mark Lawrence saw no contact being made by both players but warned both players to keep their discipline and play proceeded.

    Both players were lunging at each other according to the Judicial Officer and as the incident did not warrant a red card by the match referee no further action was deemed necessary.

    Issued by SANZAR

  • Comment 41, posted at 23.04.09 17:12:00 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 39) :
    You will be pleased to know that both Jdup and Keegan Daniel will not have any further punishment. They are free to play next weekend. :smile:

  • Comment 42, posted at 23.04.09 17:12:48 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • so wasn’t that just a huge waste of everyone’s time and effort, then?

  • Comment 43, posted at 23.04.09 17:19:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • Huge relief for the Sharks.

    Now they have to get back to winning!

  • Comment 44, posted at 23.04.09 17:23:17 by Loosehead Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : lawyers got their fees :mrgreen:

  • Comment 45, posted at 23.04.09 17:24:48 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 45) :
    Stole my words! :lol:

  • Comment 46, posted at 23.04.09 17:57:10 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 46) : evil bastards.

    Shit – was meant to add you on skype, wasn’t I?

  • Comment 47, posted at 23.04.09 17:58:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) :
    Yeah, but we all know that you suck.

    Anyway, its election time in SA – good time to be breaking promises. :wink:

  • Comment 48, posted at 23.04.09 18:01:45 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 48) : and it’s only a day after :wink:

  • Comment 49, posted at 23.04.09 18:11:28 by rekinek Reply
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  • “For the Sharks, it will actually be better if the Chiefs win, because otherwise the Bulls will move ahead of them”. rob, have to disagree. bulls must win. it doesn’t help the sharks to have the chiefs in top spot. the worst situation the sharks can hope for is to end second/third after the bulls on the log. to play any playoff overseas is a suicide mission. so suck it up and support bulls on saturday. i’d rather the sharks pay their semi or final in pretoria than nz.

  • Comment 50, posted at 23.04.09 20:16:16 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 50) : have to agree – and at least we could go to PTown to support

  • Comment 51, posted at 24.04.09 08:33:52 by rekinek Reply
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  • well, thanks to the Reds, we’ll probably end the round in fourth spot.

  • Comment 52, posted at 25.04.09 12:26:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 52) :

    Crusaders have a PD of 6 and Sharks have a PD of 40. A BP win of 34plus will see them level with us on points and ahead on PD.

    A Bulls win (likely to be the result) will see them also go above us. leaves us 5th

  • Comment 53, posted at 25.04.09 12:35:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 53) : are the Cheetahs really going to roll over that badly?

  • Comment 54, posted at 25.04.09 12:41:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 54) :

    The email I got from Superbru with my picks on said so. And they have thousands of stats at Superbru so they must be right.

    I mean they wouldn’t just send me some arb picks by email, they have to get them somehwere. :roll: :smile:

  • Comment 55, posted at 25.04.09 12:54:36 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : possible

    @KSA Shark © (Comment 55) : and who won the desert battle of yesterday :?:

  • Comment 56, posted at 25.04.09 13:34:35 by rekinek Reply
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