I’ve heard a lot of talk this week – and most of it has been coming out of the Cheetahs camp. Don’t kid yourselves, chaps. There’s only one team that’s running scared ahead of tomorrow’s game and it’s the team who’s doing all their talking off the field.
Why are the Cheetahs making such a fuss about not seeing the Sharks players as Boks? Is it because they know, deep down, that they’re not in the same class, but are trying to psyche themselves up nonetheless? What happened to the gentlemanly approach of talking up your opposition – or better still, not talking at all? Until afterwards, that is.
Look, I’m nervous about this game, just like I always am before a big game, but despite all this “form team” nonsense, we need to acknowledge that it’s the Sharks who haven’t lost a game in 6 weeks. The Cheetahs have beaten the Leopards and Boland in recent weeks, but in the two outing before those, they lost to both the Bulls and the Sharks. They may have been narrow losses, but they were still losses. It’s the scoreboard that counts.
There aren’t going to be any points for scoring pretty rugby this weekend. The Sharks have their best pack available – a pack that has played together for two years at Super 14 level and has seldom been bested. The Cheetahs may have some individual stars – Wian du Preez and Hein Brüssow being the ones that come to mind immediately – but for the most part are journeymen. The same applies in the back division where, apart from a pair of hugely exciting wingers, they don’t have too much real class.
Riaan Swanepoel, in contrast, is the only uncapped member of the Sharks back division.
So good luck to both teams – I’m sure it will be a hard match. Let’s not fall into the trap of accepting all the pressure here, though. The Cheetahs need to find a way to beat the Sharks, something they have failed to do on two prior occasions this year. If the Sharks get suckered into trying to play too much rugby against them, then they could be in trouble.
Still, there’s an air of quiet confidence coming out of Durban this week and I just don’t see the boys losing this one. Bring on the game. Sharks forever!Tweet