G West

Physicality and defence will be the key


Written by Gerhard van der Westhuizen (G West)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Reader Submissions, Sharks on 20 Jul 2011 at 11:07
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The Sharks head down to Nelspruit to take on the Pumas in my backyard, first of all I am obviously very excited to see the Sharks play live since I never had the opportunity apart from the Sharks XV game earlier this year. Looking back at the Sharks XV game earlier this year I get a little bit of a worried feeling in my gut since most of our current front row played that day against the Pumas. At the end of the night the Sharks XV held on to the death to win, but I am sure some of those guys will remember just how strong the Puma forward pack was.

The Pumas used a lot of rolling malls that night with great success and the Sharks XV where almost unable to stop the men in pink when they got momentum with their forwards. Jean Deysel played a big part that night with his physicality at the rucks and his strong running, but apart from him and Anton Bresler the rest of our forwards had a tough time trying to match the physicality of the Pumas forwards.

Looking ahead to Friday night’s match at the Mbombela stadium I am almost 100% sure the Sharks can expect the same physical game from the Pumas and our young forwards will have to step up to yet another big challenge. Having Keegan Daniel there to direct everything will help immensely as he has a great mind on his feet and dictates proceedings very well from his position at 8, as we saw against the Blue Bulls last weekend.

The Sharks backline has the advantage though and can really let loose against the Pumas if they get the opportunities from the forwards. Broken play will suit the Sharks a lot in this match as the Pumas rely on a structured approach much like the Bullls, using rolling mauls, getting the front foot in the scrums and bulking their line-outs. Ross Skeate had a good game against the Blue Bulls last weekend and he will be a vital cog in the Sharks setup this Friday night come line out time; if he pitches for this game I don’t see many problems for the Sharks in the line-outs.

Frederic Michalak will be the complete unknown for the Pumas and I can see the Pumas having their hands full with him on the night. He doesn’t have a set type of play and that makes him very dangerous to a side that relies a lot on their forwards. If the Blue Bulls game last weekend is anything to go by then we know Michalak will pitch for this one and make sure he brings his French flair to the table.

In conclusion I don’t see a walk over game for the Sharks come Friday night, the youngsters will really be tested and the Sharks backline will have to do a lot of physical work and put in the hard tackles to gain the upper hand. We all know the Pumas start the Currie Cup well and they can cause upsets for the bigger franchises, they almost caused an upset for the Lions last weekend and I am sure we can expect much of the same from them this Friday night.

My prediction: Sharks to take it by 7 or less



25 Comments

  • We can do this – we just need not to be complacent (?)…

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.07.11 11:42:16 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • @Ice (Comment 1) : complacent is reg…

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.07.11 11:48:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Thanks! English 101, lesson 1 – “tick” :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.07.11 12:17:30 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 3) :
    Lol will be a good match

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.07.11 12:18:43 by G West Reply
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  • @G West (Comment 4) : You have mail.. :lol:

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.07.11 12:34:12 by Ice Reply
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  • I still find it hard to believe Freddie’s not going to the World Cup.

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.07.11 12:39:59 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 6) : :lol: for a moment thought of him playing for the boks

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.07.11 12:49:58 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 5) :
    thanks read and replied.

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.07.11 12:52:58 by G West Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 7) : :lol: So did I!! :oops:

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.07.11 12:53:19 by Ice Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 6) : I have pondered that one a few times. Our gain.

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.07.11 12:53:27 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 6) :
    Think about it thou… if Freddie ain’t good enough for the french WC squid and there is actually a better no:10 in the french setup, then how good is that no:10, he must be bloody brilliant then.

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.07.11 12:54:50 by G West Reply
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  • @G West (Comment 11) : Even then, surely they could have found a place for him on the bench? I guess I find it hard to believe that France has two flyhalves that are better than him.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.07.11 12:56:57 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 12) :
    i also find it hard to believe but if they do then damn!

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.07.11 13:01:21 by G West Reply
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  • @G West (Comment 11) : In my opinion it is the same old story.

    Excellent CC Player
    Very Good S15 player
    Good Test player.
    Unfortunately Michalak is not physically up to the rigours of Test Rugby anymore.

    Hey, their loss is our gain.

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.07.11 13:54:33 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Mark Lawrence is reffing the Sharks game :cool:

    Lesego Legoete is reffing the WP Game. :shock: They have stopped listing him as Pro :lol:

    Kaplan is reffing the Bulls v Cheetahs

    Craig Joubert is reffing Griquas v Lions Game.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.07.11 14:13:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) : oki so it should go:
    Sharks
    everybody unhappy
    Cheetahs
    and Griquas

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.07.11 14:15:27 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 16) : :lol: something like that I suspect.

    Maybe “Not so” Legoete got the game because it is expected to be one sided.

    No worries he’ll sort that out chop chop.

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.07.11 14:22:16 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @rekinek (Comment 16) : I actually think the Lions will take that game.

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.07.11 14:24:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : It’s probably the closest game of the weekend, though.

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.07.11 14:47:59 by Greg Reply

    GregSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Franshark (Comment 7) : @Ice (Comment 9) : Guess that makes three of us… :oops:

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.07.11 19:50:15 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
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    The Sharks SharkieVodacom Cup player
     
  • Sharks by 7 or less? Ouch.

    Sharks by at least 15 imo!

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.07.11 22:05:50 by Ben Reply
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  • @G West (Comment 4) : Hey GWest. I’ve just read your article. Good work. Your VodacomC feedback via cellphone was also really good.
    Enjoy your first ever live Sharks game.
    My suggestion is watch our no. 7 carefully. He’s not quite a household name yet but IMHO every game brings him a small step closer to becoming the star player.

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.07.11 22:41:03 by beet Reply
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    beetCurrie Cup player
     
  • @beet (Comment 22) :
    Thank you and i will, hopefully my live updates will be better this time since i am using a nice snazy new phone for it :cool:

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.07.11 06:52:16 by G West Reply
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  • @G West (Comment 23) : Rob bought you tickets and a new phone. :cool:

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.07.11 08:46:03 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 24) :
    Haha i wish! if only i was that lucky hey

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.07.11 08:59:00 by G West Reply
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