robdylan

54 is the magic number


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 21 Sep 2010 at 10:25
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The Sharks, sitting pretty on top of the Currie Cup log with 46 points, require only 8 more log points to ensure that they occupy the same lofty position at the end of the regular season.

Their closest competition, Western Province, are 8 points further back in second place and, assuming they manage maximum log pints from their remaining three fixtures, can finish with at most 53 points. The Blue Bulls, Cheetahs and Lions can get to 48, 47 and 46 respectively, leaving the Sharks all but assured of a home semi-final.

The Sharks have three games remaining and while the team will be sure to take nothing for granted in the following weeks, the simplest of those fixture is the home game against the Leopards next weekend, one which really should yield 5 points without too much hassle. The Leopards have failed to record a single win so far this season and have regularly conceded 4-try bonus points to the big sides, particularly when playing away from home. Banking those points puts the Sharks on 51, ahead of the potential maximum haul of any side other than Province.

That leaves just three further points for the Sharks to find somewhere in the other two games; making that task a lot trickier, though, is the fact that both games are away, against big opposition. The worst-case scenario (Province picking up maximum points from all fixtures) will, of course, depend on them beating the Sharks with a bonus point in the final league game – something the Sharks will be going all-out to avoid. For the Durbanites, though, it would be infinitely preferable if they could head down to that clash in the Cape with first place already sewn up. That scenario would give the Sharks LOTS of options in terms of team selection, player rotation and so on and is surely the one that Plumtree and co would prefer.

The implication is that a victory against the Lions in this weekend’s match is not negotiable, since the Sharks need 3 points at a minimum from the game. Since 4 points are (practically) a lot easier to achieve then 3 (a draw with 4 tries), you can bet that the side will be going all out for the win. The real risk here is that the Sharks, in trying to secure a win by any means, ma be tempted to play a more conservative style of rugby and that, I feel, is something that will backfire against the revitalised Lions. Make no mistake, the intense rivalry between these two sides, made keener by some recent high-profile player swaps and the fact that the respective coaches have a long history, will ensure that the Lions lack no motivation. They will be hurting after losing narrowly to the Bulls at Loftus and will need to beat the Sharks to set up a meaningful “quarter final” clash against the Cheetahs the following week.

As the Sharks found out in the first round of matches, the way to properly beat the Lions is to keep attacking and keep piling on the points. You cannot hope to build a lead and then sit on it, because John Mitchell’s team have shown that they have the attacking ability to wipe out even relatively large margins reasonably rapidly. The Sharks need to be mindful of this and ensure that they do not take their foot off the gas at any stage until the 80 minutes have elapsed and the Lions are properly buried.

It’s a case of one final hurdle to clear, before two relatively easy weeks in which to recuperate ahead of the play-offs.



30 Comments

  • I hope the Sharks can come through for us here.

    We need to beat the Lions, and we have shown that we can dominate them at home, now to go kill their dream in Jhb.

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.09.10 10:35:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 1) : my gut feel is we will take them. It might not be an easy game, but I think we have too much class from 1-22

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.09.10 10:38:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • we have got to play at full strength for this fixture,pity we dont have our boks back yet ,but i think we can do it with the team we put out against the cheethas

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.09.10 10:40:45 by ruggabugga Reply

    ruggabuggaVodacom Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    I reckon we will take them if we stick our tried and tested game plan, keeping ball in hand and as you said in the article, keep on attacking for 80 minutes.

    I hope Plum sees the light and maybe gives someone like Alberts a break in the next game.

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.09.10 10:50:25 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Alberts can have a rest next week and the week after.

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.09.10 11:14:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :

    Thats what I meant, against the Leopards..

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.09.10 11:24:08 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Class means nothing when you suffer from narcoplepsy.

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.09.10 11:31:09 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • I also believe we will win.

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.09.10 11:38:32 by Jarson Reply
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  • What about taking it game by game? We can’t afford to throw the game against WP with a semi the next week. Sharks should aim to win their next 5 games and only rest if the trophy is safely in the cabinet.

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.09.10 11:41:53 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 9) : i have to disagree. if you take te cheetahs for example. they had played 3 hard games in 3 weeks. Griquas away, Bulls at home and last weekend against us. u could see that the physicality was not up to scratch from the cheetahs. u dont want that happening to the sharks at semi final time AND the wp should be more motivated to win to maybe secure a home semi, you dont want to lose against them in the last round and give them that “advantage” in the final if they should meet…

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.09.10 11:59:29 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilderCurrie Cup player
     
  • @VanWilder (Comment 10) : I mean don’t plan on losing games, take it game for game and don’t let up. Rotation against the Leopards next week game is a must, but if we want to win the tournament we cant afford to lose any more games

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.09.10 12:07:55 by war1 Reply
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  • You guys can rest your first choice players in the last league match!! :twisted:

  • Comment 12, posted at 21.09.10 12:18:45 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 12) : coz WP will be an easy match? :twisted:

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.09.10 12:20:45 by war1 Reply
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  • The Sharks have so many first choice players that there will not be a need to worry about resting anyone. Almost everyone has played games this season. The players are so well coached and motivated that every time 15 players take the field they will be 15 good players all fighting for a starting position the following weekend.

    That’s generally how it should be.

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.09.10 12:25:16 by Predawn Reply

    Great White SharkUnder 21 player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 11) : oh, okey… i`m with you on that point. question is, will we fall for the same trick as last year? bring back the boks or not?? Bissie, Jannie and JP, but not John. let john rest.

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.09.10 12:30:35 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilderCurrie Cup player
     
  • Rest the Boks.

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.09.10 12:31:44 by Predawn Reply

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  • @VanWilder (Comment 15) : Apparently John will not play rugby again this year.

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.09.10 12:38:53 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 17) : how you know this pokk??

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.09.10 12:41:41 by ruggabugga Reply

    ruggabuggaVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Pokkel (Comment 17) : good, cappy needs a rest before he lifts the cup next year… would you guys risk adi if he is available for the semi`s and final?

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.09.10 12:43:56 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilderCurrie Cup player
     
  • We need to remember that, of necesitty, we will have a huge bunch of Boks back for the WP clash anyway. We can and must rest guys like Burden, alberts, stef, mvovo and sykes for that game.

  • Comment 20, posted at 21.09.10 12:46:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • I would definitely pick Adi when fit

  • Comment 21, posted at 21.09.10 12:48:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : he should not be far off now hey?

  • Comment 22, posted at 21.09.10 12:51:08 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilderCurrie Cup player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 13) :

    Yeah it will be. :roll:

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.09.10 12:53:09 by wpw Reply
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  • Adi is already fit, but can’t play due to the bonkers ‘conditioning program’

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.09.10 13:11:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : How about we play him anyway but give him Vulindlu`s jersey? :twisted:

  • Comment 25, posted at 22.09.10 13:37:46 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : wish that was my gut feeling coz right now i’m telling it to shutup and that the Sharks will win!

    A win here and the obvious bonus point against the Leopards, will make sort of make the Province game like the last Super 14 fixture (not final) between the Bulls and Stormers was – with the Bulls already securely on top.

    We’ve got the chance to do just that!

  • Comment 26, posted at 22.09.10 15:03:38 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 24) :

    So we wil have Adi back for the WP game?

    Adi 13, Stef 11.. or Adi 12 and Stef 13..

  • Comment 27, posted at 22.09.10 15:09:25 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Adi looks nothing like Vulindlu, though :)

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.09.10 15:17:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) :

    I do hope that Vulindlu gets a run in the game against the Leopards..

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.09.10 15:19:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • anyone got a score of the college rovers vs pukke game?

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.09.10 15:26:31 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilderCurrie Cup player
     

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