Can they do it?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 31 Jul 2012 at 09:00
Tagged with : , ,

In terms of historical precedent, the Sharks, in qualifying for this weekend’s Super Rugby Final from sixth position, have gone well outside of the bounds of anything that has every happened in the past – and to be honest, have already done more than anyone really thought possible.

This is not news any more and not something about which the team seems unduly concerned. After all, ask any one of the 30-odd members of the Sharks playing and management team currently in Sydney whether they feel that they’ve achieved something “special” and I’m sure they’ll answer in the negative. Getting to the final has been unlikely, given the obstacles faced by low-ranking qualifiers, but at the end of the day, it’s the trophy that counts and the team hasn’t actually won anything yet.

What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that the Sharks still aren’t thinking about the travel factor and while the knowledgeable pundits and scribes with column inches to fill can’t seem to quite see past the “remarkable achievement of getting this far” on the one hand, countered by the “this week will surely be a week too far” scepticism on the other, the reality is that nobody really knows what is going to happen to the Sharks this weekend. In the build-up to the Stormers game, we had some suitably scientific-sounding evidence trotted in front of us to suggest that the home side would start with a clear advantage; that advantage, though, never materialised on the field and I think that any talk of “scientific evidence” or even “common sense” used to write off the Sharks’ chances in the final should also be dismissed out of hand.

Where the Sharks are now has gone not only beyond historical precedent, it’s also gone beyond the realm of scientific (or even statistical) analysis and, dare I say without being laughed off the stage, beyond the stage of common sense too. Whether this team is currently being fuelled by self-belief, a fear of failure, vodka and red bull, weird voodoo magic, or (as I suspect) a combination of all of those (except the vodka) doesn’t really matter so much any more – what does matter is that the Sharks do seem, finally and after so many stalled campaigns – to have found the missing ingredient that makes them tick.

At the risk of sounding overly parochial (like that’s ever stopped me before) I think we Sharks fans have always believed that our team was capable of extraordinary feats and a level of play that, to date, we’ve only ever seen in glimpses. That game, we felt, could see off any opposition on any field and I find it hugely encouraging that the Sharks, having chosen the perfect time to peak, seem to have finally discovered that game… what’s more, they seem able to play it consistently now too.

So can the Sharks do it? Of course they can. Will they do it? Shit, I don’t know. I hope so, I really do. I know they have it in them, but I also know that there are a lot of factors counting against them. One thing I do know, though, is that not one single member of that 22 will die wondering whether they could possibly have done more, by the time the final whistle is blown in Hamilton. As a fan, that’s about as much as I can ask.



  • Comment 1, posted at 31.07.12 09:04:54 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli BoelieTeam captain
  • Nice one Rob :cool:
    Go SHARKS!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.07.12 09:07:56 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
    JarsonXAssistant coach
  • This is going to take a 100% 27 man effort (match 22 + coaching team + medical staff). We need the absolute best from everyone this week – in preparation and for the 80+ minutes on the field

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.07.12 09:09:34 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • 4800 seconds, 80 minutes is all that they still need to give, I believe they can. THE SHARKS CAN DO IT!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.07.12 09:15:32 by Die Kriek Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 3) : make that 85min then I’ll be happy.

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.07.12 09:18:09 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • @Die Kriek (Comment 4) : Nowadays you best aim at 85 minutes playing time to be safe.

    Plum will need to be spot on with the replacements for especially Marcell, Keegan, Bresler, Jannie and Bissie who must be out on their feet by now. Guys like Beast, Kanko, Alberts, Sykes, Deysel, fortunately have had some break due to injuries.

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.07.12 09:20:44 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 6) : Beast, and Kanko should have enough in their tank.

  • Comment 7, posted at 31.07.12 09:34:14 by KingRiaan Reply

    KingRiaanTeam captain
  • I believe the Sharks can do it on Saturday. We’re moving into a new house on Friday so I’ve already phoned and set up everything so that the DSTV is ready to go. We also bought a brand new 42″ TV for the new house which is going up before we even put in any other furniture and the family knows that nothing is going to be happening on Saturday between 9 and 12 (possibly/hopefully all of Saturday when we win and the moerkoffee has been flowing).

    On the other hand, unfortunately I just don’t see us winning our next match against WP – which is next weekend in Cape Town in round 1 of the Currie Cup. But hey that’s fine, we’ll come back and crush them in the end again. :grin:

  • Comment 8, posted at 31.07.12 09:35:10 by Butchie34 Reply
    Currie Cup player
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 7) : That is what I said :smile:

  • Comment 9, posted at 31.07.12 09:36:36 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • Dr Ross Tucker now has the Chiefs on a 15 point advantage according to S24. :roll:

    Stuff it I say….prove him wrong again Sharks!

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.07.12 09:41:41 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • @Pokkel (Comment 10) : How does that work – 5 points per cross-Indian flight?

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.07.12 09:44:05 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
  • Let’s just forget its a final, and just think of it as the next game of a long unbeaten run of games…

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.07.12 09:48:07 by CLASSIC SHARK Reply

    CLASSIC SHARKUnder 21 player
  • I also didn’t hear a word about the White Card incident in the Saders/Chiefs game.

    Was it quietly swept under the carpet by NZ?

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.07.12 09:49:57 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • Having watched the Crusaders vs. Chiefs game one thing became very apparent and that is how weak the Chiefs set piece is. If I were Plum I would put a heavy emphasis on driving mauls this weekend and scrumaging. Using the short line out is great and we get to utilise Albert’s in midfield ,perhaps for this weekend instead of running that midfield field channel they should push that pod outwards or even inwards ,who wants to run at SBW.
    It would also maybe be a good idea to use the up and under with a good chase like we did vs. the Stormers.

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.07.12 10:00:54 by Talent Reply
    TalentCurrie Cup player
  • @Talent (Comment 14) :

    The Chiefs also used the rush defence and I think Michalak could be key. He needs to sum up the situation very quickly and a little grubber through the line or a short kick over the backline could be the way to penetrate their defensive line.

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.07.12 10:05:27 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • @Pokkel (Comment 13) : was apparently reviewed by 3 guys from 3 diff countries and no furthet action required..

  • Comment 16, posted at 31.07.12 10:17:22 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
  • @Ice (Comment 16) :


  • Comment 17, posted at 31.07.12 10:20:52 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • We weren’t suppose to get a Bonus point win against the Bulls and we did that. We weren’t suppose to go to Brisbane and beat the defending champions and we did. We weren’t ever given a chance of beating the table topping Stormers and did that.

    It is completely impossible for us to beat the Chiefs and take the cup.

    But we like the impossible. I wouldn’t bet on the Sharks doing it any other way.

    Hollywood is waiting for us.

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.07.12 11:18:53 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • Nice article Rob. I think most if us will agree that they can do it despite the odds. Now we all we can do is pray that they do.

  • Comment 19, posted at 31.07.12 11:42:05 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    vanmartinAssistant coach
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 9) : Haha sorry wanted to write a nice reply to your post, but got sidetrack by work, next thing I knew was that I had hit enter. What I did want to go on to say was that I think Marcell must have been develop in a secret lab some where in the Berg, because it just defies all logic how that boy is still on his feet. After all the work he has done so far a mere mortal would’ve been lying in a corner crying in the fetal position.

  • Comment 20, posted at 31.07.12 12:57:49 by KingRiaan Reply

    KingRiaanTeam captain
  • Can they do it? Yes. Can I survive until Saturday? Maybe, but I’m not too hopeful. This tension is going to kill me!!

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.07.12 13:15:05 by Die Kriek Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • They were 5/1 for the title before the semi…so if they DO do it. I’m getting R1500. :cool:

  • Comment 22, posted at 31.07.12 13:18:27 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain

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