Sharks could go one better

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 8 Mar 2009 at 09:10

The Sharks are in with a fighting chance of achieving a first-time South African feat: victory in all matches on the Vodacom Super 14 overseas leg.

Saturday’s deserved bonus-point triumph over the Blues in Auckland means they have won both their 2009 games in New Zealand (they edged the Chiefs last weekend) and now face up to a brace of relatively inviting fixtures in Australia before heading home. Rob Houwing writes for

Their foes will be the very ordinary Reds next Saturday, before they end their Antipodean trip against the Force in Perth.

They will be strong favourites in Brisbane – they thrashed the Reds 59-16 in the corresponding fixture two years ago – even if the Force may present a sterner challenge: the Sharks lost 22-12 to the Western Australians in their own lair in 2007.

But it is a far better schedule than having to take on either of the table-topping Waratahs (they lead the Sharks via their one extra bonus point at present) or the Brumbies at their home venues.

So this is as inviting an opportunity as ever to seek that win record: it is the year when the Sharks only play four overseas matches rather than the five-match “tour from hell” experienced every two years.

The Bulls, of course, are the other unbeaten South African side going into their afternoon derby against the Stormers on Saturday, but they face the five-match challenge abroad this year and are unlikely to prevail each time, given their relative historical reluctance to warm to the take-your-passport trip.

Last year the Stormers came desperately close to achieving the record as they faced the same opposition abroad as the Sharks have in 2009: the Cape side beat all of the Reds, Chiefs and Force but their only blemish was a 17-14 reverse to the Blues.

Whether or not the Sharks manage a four-out-of-four outcome, they seem well on course now for a home semi-final by finishing in the top two – they will hit the business end of the tournament with a favourable string of matches back on home soil.

The Waratahs may head the table at present, but their last three matches in the league phase are all in South Africa, including what shapes as a humdinger against the Sharks in Durban on May 9.


  • Well i hope you guys manage to win the rest of your matches!! As long as that famed arrogance doesnt kick in… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.03.09 10:50:03 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 1) : What do u mean “you guys” ? You are the biggest Sharks fan.

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.03.09 11:15:13 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Plummo bet step up his man management plans… Kockott, Beast, Bismark and a few others were out of their feet come the 60ish minute mark… going to be some serious burnout this tour if he doesn’t obey the 22man 85min rugby rule…

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.03.09 11:18:06 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • Go read Keo, they reckon the Sharks play 5 games on tour, the last against the Brumbies – which is actually at home in Durban. Great journalism!

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.03.09 11:42:27 by Baldrick Reply
  • @blackshark (Comment 2) :
    “Biggest” is right.

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.03.09 15:01:37 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Been dreading articles like this. 🙁

    creates to much expectation and smacks of WP media hype type journalism. 🙁 😉

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.03.09 15:55:47 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @Baldrick (Comment 4) : yeah, i saw that and thought that maybe i only dreamt that we were playing 4 games on tour. even pinched myself.

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.03.09 18:51:53 by knersboy Reply
  • @Baldrick (Comment 4) : Very true though.

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.03.09 20:28:04 by klempie Reply

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