The Sharks take on the Stormers at Newlands this weekend, and could in the process undo a lot of good work the Cape based franchise has done, finishing top of the log and securing what could be a South African hosted final, and potentially a South African Super Rugby champion.
The question now is, should South Africans get behind the Stormers this weekend, and book a final at Newlands, which could well produce a South African winner, or do we back the Sharks, who even though they are in fantastic form at the moment, will find the going tough having to travel back to New Zealand to take on either the Chiefs or the Crusaders in a final. That said though, if you were either the Chiefs or Crusaders, which of the two teams would you rather face in the final? The more predictable, yet almost unbeatable Stormers who have only lost twice this year so far, or the Sharks, who are unpredictable in form, but could beat any team on any day, should they so wish.
We are all aware of the effect a winning Super Rugby franchise has on the Springbok setup, with the Bulls winning the Super Rugby trophy in the year the Springboks lifted the World Cup. Whether this effect was purely coincidental, or whether a significant mental adjustment comes into from a South African team beating the best Australia and New Zealand has to offer, remains to be seen. One can argue that New Zealand won the World Cup in the year the Reds won Super Rugby, which flushes that theory down the drain.
Posting this article on a Sharks website might be a big mistake, as I am sure every single person here will be screaming their hearts out for the Sharks come Saturday evening, but would it not be better for the Stormers to win this weekend, and host a travelled and jet lagged New Zealand outfit the following weekend, giving the South African team a great head start towards lifting the trophy?
Every single New Zealander is getting behind the Sharks to win this weekend, as it would mean a New Zealand hosted semi-final, and an almost guaranteed New Zealand Super Rugby winner. Should we, as South Africans, not also put our country before our club and see the bigger picture?
For me, the answer is quite simple. I am a Shark supporter, and will back them and support them all the way, hoping that they do in fact make the Super Rugby final, for the first time since that dreadful day in 2007. That said though, should the Stormers upset the fancied Sharks this weekend, I wouldn’t be too sad, knowing full well that the Stormers will be hosting a final, having beaten what is probably the form team at the moment, and have the best shot they’ve had to lift the coveted trophy.Tweet