As we look ahead to the game on Saturday against the Chiefs, at our beloved Kings Park, there are a few positives to take back from the Blues game.
The Sharks outscored the Blues 4 tries to 2, beating them 23-29 in their last tour game and also keeping their unbeaten run of 8 games and giving them a 73.3% win ratio against the Blues.
Turning our attention to the game this week, the Chiefs, topping the New Zealand conference and also the overall log, with a 50% win ratio the game could go either way.
Head to head (since 1998)
The Chiefs should surely go into this game as favourites if you take in account their position on the log and their away win against the Cheetahs last week, but then again the Sharks also had a bonus point away win in their game last week.
The Sharks showed a huge improvement in their defence, making 154 out of 194 tackles (79%) 40 more then the Blues, shows some discipline, but still very much off the pace, and defence is something that let the Cheetahs down in their game against the Chiefs, with only 65% of their tackles hitting the target. If you give a player like Sonny Bill Williams half a gap he’ll put someone away.
Another positive must be our captain Daniel, who really had an outstanding game and was leading from the front as you would expect him to.
Playing a full 80 min, only missing 1 out of 11 tackles, running 12 times with ball in hand and gaining 143 meters with one line break, also setting up the try of Steven Sykes and scoring one himself, hitting 8 rucks/mauls and forcing 1 turnover, sounds like a good day at the office.
One other thing to look forward to is the return of Bismarck Du Plessis, unfortunately at the expense of Craig Burden who did very well in the absence of Du Plessis, tough call.
Last five results:
18 Mar 2011 Sharks v Chiefs 9-15 Hamilton
13 Feb 2010 Sharks v Chiefs 18-19 Durban
28 Feb 2009 Sharks v Chiefs 22-15 Hamilton
17 May 2008 Sharks v Chiefs 47-25 Durban
21 Apr 2007 Sharks v Chiefs 27-35 Hamilton
The Sharks team to face the Chiefs:
1. Dale Chadwick
2. Bismarck du Plessis
3. Jannie du Plessis
4. Steven Sykes
5. Anton Bresler
6. Jacques Botes
7. Willem Alberts
8. Keegan Daniel (Captain)
9. Charl McLeod
10. Patrick Lambie
11. Lwazi Mvovo
12. Tim Whitehead
13. JP Pietersen
14. Louis Ludik
15. Riaan Viljoen
16. Craig Burden
17. Wiehahn Herbst
18. Pieter-Steph du Toit
19. Jean Deysel
20. Marcell Coetzee
21. Frederic Michalak
22. Meyer Bosman
Date: 21 April
SA Time: 17:05
Venue: Mr Price Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)