Looking ahead to the big game

Written by Randall Myburgh (REM SS)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 27 Apr 2010 at 10:31
Tagged with : , , , ,

Games between Pretoria based Blue Bulls and the Natal Sharks have risen to new heights in recent years. Many, me included, feel robbed of a Super 14 in 2007 and since then the competition has been fierce.

Looking at this weekend’s game, it sees top of the table Bulls against a somewhat lackluster Sharks outfit. Now before my head is bitten off, allow me to explain my reasoning. The Sharks are an exciting team, and I have followed them for over twenty years. Through thick and thin, good times and disastrous campaigns I have pledged my support to them.

Looking at the form of the team, and considering that they have won their last five games, they are in a good winning state of mind. Injuries are currently on their minds with the likes of JP Pietersen out and Riaan Swanepoel still nurturing yet another injury. The backline has shown their intention to attack the last weekend against the Blues but crucial mistakes allowed the Blues to get away. The forwards have come into their own in the last five weeks and in my opinion only the Stormers and the Sharks can match the Bulls upfront who we know base a lot of their play and go forward on their forwards.

In Jean Deysel we have a very good and steady ball carrier, Willem Alberts has also shown why we went to court for him and Jacques Botes is in my eyes one of the most underrated players in SA Rugby. What we need though is a proper established backline to round off the forwards’ hard work. Pienaar is in good form, Goode has not been too bad himself. Pietersen has had a hot and cold season thus far, Swanepoel too many injuries, Strauss doesn’t receive too much game time, Ndungane has tried his best to get as much work as possible, Terreblanche has been shifted and done a decent job at centre and Lambie has impressed me.

The loss of Brad Barritt and Steyn to Saracens and Racing Metro has left a huge void in the Sharks’ depth. Yes we have quality players in the Under 21 and Sharks Academy but those two alone had enough experience between them to be the difference and spark within a backline or team that has scored the least tries in the entire campaign. You get that feeling that Plumtree needs to get the guys firing for Saturday’s clash.

We sport a decent record at Loftus having won three of our six victories against the Bulls in their own backyard. The guys also seem up for the challenge and as an ardent supporter so do I.

The Sharks have the slimmest of chances of making the Semi Finals. That depends on the outcome of some other teams like the Reds and Warratahs. Lets hope that his clash proves out to be worth the anticipation and the result justify if the Bulls deserve to defend their title or the Sharks have hope of growing in stature as a team and return stronger for the Currie Cup.


  • welcome to the Sharksworld team, REM 🙂 Now upload yourself a picture so we can see what you look like

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.04.10 10:36:43 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Somewhat pedantic I know but Natal Sharks play in the Currie Cup, The Sharks play in the Super 14…

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.04.10 10:38:33 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @lostfish (Comment 2) : nitpicking 🙂

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.04.10 12:06:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Just a bit 🙂

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.04.10 12:34:14 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Things livened up between Natal and Northern Transvaal with that Currie Cup victory at Loftus when Tony Watson scored the 9-point try.

    Our coach Plum also played that day 😀

    Ever since that game the North vs South rivalry shifted from Northern Tvl/WP to Northen Tvl/Natal.

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.04.10 12:53:02 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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  • @lostfish (Comment 2) :
    REM is OG. 😆

    Lets hope we bring our A-game.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.04.10 13:30:52 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I don’t think any team can match up to our Sharks forwards right now…..all our losses came due to a backline oriented game plan, and our backline is WAY under S14 standard, with the exception being Ruan and Lambie.

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.04.10 15:14:22 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 7) : I’m inclined to agree with you on that

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.04.10 15:33:12 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : We need someone to coach/teach the backline to compliment our forward dominance. Seems HRE tried to get our forwards to compliment our non-existent backline.

    It’s gonna take some smart coaching, or not. Just get the backline to DO the basics with ball in hand. Breaking the line once or twice a game won’t hurt either, and putting someone into the gap might just strengthen the forwards’ cause.

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.04.10 15:42:48 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Well me a big Sharks Fan and me say
    :mrgreen: GO SHARKS GO :mrgreen:
    the team can make it and i believe Sharksworld will also stand by our team :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.04.10 15:48:23 by Chaz Reply

  • Please Sharks Please – Just win them! Give the ball to Spies. He will run a few meters and then just drop the ball forward. Or when the players have to ball run to Spies – 50 % change he will miss the tackle!

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.04.10 16:29:58 by RugbyGal Reply

  • @RugbyGal (Comment 11) : well i’m with you 😆 if we don’t make it 😕 😥

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.04.10 16:39:43 by Chaz Reply

  • First of hopefully many post.Lets hope the Sharks can grow each week and lets hope that this weekend’s trip to Loftus is a fruitful one.

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.04.10 21:36:55 by REM SS Reply

    REM SS
  • Our backline will have to come to the party. It’s pointless our forwards dominating when the backs don’t utilise the space that’s created.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.04.10 08:07:36 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • @REM SS (Comment 13) : amen, buddy!

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.04.10 09:44:26 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • “…Goode has not been too bad himself…”

    You really think so? The game against the Blues, I made a point of watching his every move on the field. What I saw was very worrying! On defence he moves to the side where the Blues were least likely to attack. I believed that lead to the Blues try, as Andy moved to the blindside, where there were no Blues attackers, and we already had two men covering that side. That left the other side with a huge overlap. The one time Andy was in the right place to actually defend, it was against a big Blues player (I couldn’t get the number), Andy made such a pathetic attempt at a tackle and completely missed his man.

    Now that’s just defence. On attack he’s even worse. Not once did he run straight when he received the ball. He’ll do one of two things when he receives the ball: Kick it, or run at an angle then pass it before the defender that’s on him commits to tackling him.

    It just seems like he’s scared of contact and getting hurt. I think he’s totally out of his depth here at Super 14 level, and with him starting for us, it gives us a great disadvantage. I think even Monty du Mondt is better than him as Monty is at least not scared to run straight and is much more solid on defence. But I would prefer Ruan Pienaar at flyhalf. He always takes the ball on the front foot, and uses his head. Our backline sparks to life with him at flyhalf, and Rory is a more than adequate scrumhalf.

    What do you guys think about my madman ramblings? Am I being unfair or too harsh?

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.04.10 09:55:40 by jackal Reply

  • @jackal (Comment 16) : The truth hurts man! But I agree with you fully. Goode is a problem in our backline. He doesn’t attack bery well, he doesn’t defend very well either!!

    On the point, I know a lot of people love Oupa in the centres, but jeez, how many tries has he butchered over the past few weeks? Does he know he has a wing outside him? I dunno, just a little rant to make me feel better about an underperforming backline!

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.04.10 12:34:49 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Yes I agree with both of you. I’d play Monty as well. Our backline is too slow – no pace at all. If it wasn’t for our forwards tackling above themselves Blues would have crossed our line a few more times. Goode can’t attack and he can’t defend.

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.04.10 14:36:54 by Ernie Reply


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