Hertford Highlander

Hurricanes on ‘Shark Alert’

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news, Sharks, Super Rugby on 20 Apr 2011 at 09:40
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

On the Canes official website Hurricanes.co.nz it appears that the Wellingtonians are doing their homework on the boys in ‘Black and White’ before swimming with them in the ‘Tank’.

The Hurricanes grabbed their second win of the 2011 season last week when Jeremy Thrush finished off a late counter attacking movement with the last act of the game for a 50-47 win over the Cheetahs. At the halfway stage of the round-robin they are fourth in the New Zealand conference and 10th overall. A win over the Sharks would put them in touch with the competition leaders heading into the back half of the competition.

The Sharks, who are coming off their bye, are second in the South African conference behind the Stormers and sixth in the overall standings on 29 points after nine rounds. Their record so far is played eight, won five and lost three. The Sharks started off the season in ferocious form with four straight wins over the Cheetahs, Blues (both at home), Force and Rebels (second two away), before losing three straight to the Chiefs (away), the Crusaders (away, in London) and the Stormers (home). Their most recent result before their bye was a 27-3 win over the Lions at home.

After eight matches, the Sharks have scored 193 points and conceded 143, against the Hurricanes who have scored 160 and let in 213.

The Sharks are coached by former Vodafone Wellington Lions Head Coach John Plumtree and have a stack of experienced players in their squad. Springbok captain John Smit and veteran centre Stefan Terblanche have both played over 100 Super Rugby games and there are 10 more players in their current squad with more than 50 caps for the Sharks.

The Sharks, who finished one spot behind the Hurricanes in ninth place in 2010 after making a slow start, got up to defeat the Hurricanes 29-26 at the very end of their round seven clash in Wellington last year. Now departed halfback Ruan Pienaar stepped up from halfway to knock over the match winning penalty at the very end to snatch a dramatic victory for his side – after the Hurricanes had leveled the scores 26-26 just moments earlier with a converted Victor Vito try in the corner.

The result of their match last year neatly sums up the extremely tight record these two sides have against each other throughout the history of Super Rugby. Both the Hurricanes and the Sharks have scored 43 tries against each other. The Hurricanes have aggregated 386 points against the Sharks and the Sharks have aggregated 391 points against the Hurricanes.

As such, little separates the two teams across all their previous head-to-head meetings. Overall, they have met 15 times, including once each in 1996 and 1997 when the Sharks were the Natal Sharks before South African teams formed into franchises. The Hurricanes have won six of these, the Sharks eight and there has been one draw.

The Hurricanes were defeated by the Sharks 33-17 the last time they were in Durban in 2009, the Sharks capitalising on two Hurricanes mistakes to score tries and pull clear in the second half.

The Hurricanes’ record against the Sharks in South Africa is played seven, won three and lost four. They have played six times in Durban (in 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009) and once in Port Elizabeth (1999).

Their last win against the Sharks in South Africa was in 2005 (29-23). This victory became assured after a rash of scoring post-halftime in which flanker Ben Herring and rookie first five-eighth Jimmy Gopperth each scored tries to carry the Hurricanes to 29-9 after scores had been all square at 9-9 at the break. The Sharks came back to score two tries in the final 10 minutes and scented victory, but the clock was against them and the Hurricanes held on.

The match in 1999 was also one of the great wins in Hurricanes history, also notable for the local support of the Hurricanes from the East London crowd. The Hurricanes’ decision to base themselves in East London for the week and the Sharks’ to stay 650 kilometres up the road at Durban until match day helped win the fans over. On the training field, Coach Frank Oliver made five changes to his misfiring starting XV that had won once in five matches all season and who were coming off a mauling by the Cats. The changes worked, the Hurricanes playing with extra purpose and hunger for a bonus point win. Buoyed by the crowd support, the Hurricanes harried the Sharks into mistakes. Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga, Jason O’Halloran and Inoke Afeaki each scored tries as the Canes had the game won at 25-5 at halftime and held on for their first ever win over the Sharks.

More recently, their encounter in 2008 was similar to last year’s – except the Sharks’ penalty near the end didn’t go over and the Hurricanes attempts at a last-gasp try just went to ground. The end result was a 13-13 draw, but the Hurricanes were desperately unlucky not to snatch victory with the final act of the game from a controversial non-try incident after halfback Rory Kockett had hit the uprights with a penalty that might have given victory to the Sharks.

The highest score by the Hurricanes against the Sharks is exactly 40 points (twice) – at Wellington in 2000 and at Wellington in 2002 (40-17).

The individual record for most tries by a Hurricanes’ player in a match against the Sharks is two by Christian Cullen at Wellington in 1996 and 2000 and at Durban in 2003, and Jonah Lomu at Wellington in 2000 (in his debut for the Hurricanes and in the first ever Super 12 match at Westpac Stadium) . The individual record for most penalties kicked in a match for the Hurricanes against the Sharks is five by Jimmy Gopperth at Durban in 2005.

The individual record for most tries by a Sharks’ player in a match against the Hurricanes is three by Andre Joubert and James Small at Wellington in 1996 and Stefan Terblanche at Palmerston North in 1998.No Sharks’ player has scored more than one try in a match against the Hurricanes since 1998.

The most points scored by a Sharks’ player in a match against the Hurricanes is 19 by Gavin Lawless at Durban in 1997, Butch James at Durban in 2001 and Ruan Pienaar last year. Each kicked five penalties in these matches.


  • Sharks should take this…the Hurricanes have not looked great this year so far….but just be careful of complacency!

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.04.11 09:54:15 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • Thanks for that little piece of History HH. The Sharks should really win this one. Hurricanes’ defense has been awfull so far this season. Nonu to get another yellow card. 🙂

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.04.11 10:01:56 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Last weeks game against the Cheetahs should not be a true reflection of the Huricanes capabilities as both team sucked on defence missing 30+ tackles each. Sharks should take this one but they will have to work hard for it. The Canes don;t go down easily.

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.04.11 10:11:12 by Viking Reply
  • Great history between the teams but it will really be a big upset if the Hurricanes win this weekend.

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.04.11 10:12:54 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @Viking (Comment 3) : The Canes have only won 2 games this season. Can’t be that hard to beat them. 😉

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.04.11 10:13:10 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I believe the Sharks are on Ma’a Nonu alert 😈

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.04.11 10:15:42 by Charlie Reply

  • @Ben (Comment 5) : Lets hope not. At the start of the season they had arhuably the best backline on paper. They have taken a lot of knocks in that backline though with Conrad Smith and Cruden being on the injury list. It should help our cause but watch out for Kirkpatrick. His dad is a world champion sheep shearer 😯

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.04.11 10:22:03 by Viking Reply
  • @Charlie (Comment 6) : I am sure the Bone-Collector has laready painted a bullseye on his back. Watch out!

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.04.11 10:23:36 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 7) : Arguably the best backline on paper. Would argue with you there.

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.04.11 10:41:26 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Viking (Comment 7) :

    His dad is a world champion sheep shearer 😯

    C 😯 n I use that later in the week ❓ Brilliant

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.04.11 10:46:40 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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    Hertford Highlander
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 10) : It was a tricia question on a radio show called the UnGoogleable question. Interesting though and make use of it, fun of it all you want.

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.04.11 10:53:42 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 11) :

    I am currently writing a few Cane’s Player Profiles trying to spice them up a bit – with gems like that ! 😎

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.04.11 11:06:21 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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    Hertford Highlander
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 12) : I am glad i could make a contribution. Make the best of it :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.04.11 11:13:32 by Viking Reply
  • The Hurricanes should be studying our game plan not our historic data. 🙂

    Some cool info in the piece though.

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.04.11 11:14:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 12) : Here is a arti about the guy on the Canes website:


  • Comment 15, posted at 20.04.11 11:15:19 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 7) : Brazilian or regular sheep. 😳

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.04.11 11:17:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • 5 points in the bag.

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.04.11 11:24:59 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • @Honey Badger (Comment 17) : We are going to have to work hard to get all 5 in the bag.

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.04.11 11:26:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : As long as it stays dry on the park we should have no problem getting the 5. That is if we want to be considered as top side and contender for the title…

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.04.11 11:29:16 by Viking Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : Must be Brazilian. otherwise it would read shagger

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.04.11 11:32:40 by Rahul Reply

  • @Viking (Comment 19) : they have a leaky defence but we need to make sure ours doesn’t leak more than theirs. (ask the Cheetahs, they know all about that)

    I’m glad they beat the Cheetahs or else our guys would not have taken this game seriously.

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.04.11 11:33:49 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Rahul (Comment 20) : Oi!!! Are you Scottish or Welsh? 😉

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.04.11 11:35:23 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Rahul (Comment 20) : How’s down under?

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.04.11 11:36:37 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) :
    @Rahul (Comment 20) :
    😆 😆

  • Comment 24, posted at 20.04.11 11:46:28 by Viking Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 23) : Not bad, better than I expected. Sydney is like Cape Town. Melbourne is Jhb and Perth is just Perth

  • Comment 25, posted at 20.04.11 12:02:30 by Rahul Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 22) : Do I shout for Bulls or Force on Saturday????? ❓

  • Comment 26, posted at 20.04.11 12:06:59 by Rahul Reply

  • BOKKE 51 man training squad has been anounced. See below link…


  • Comment 27, posted at 20.04.11 12:10:08 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 27) :

    Tha Sharks who have made the first cut are as follow:

    Adi Jacobs
    Alistair Hargreaves
    Bismarck du Plessis
    Charl McLeod
    Jannie du Plessis
    John Smit
    JP Pietersen
    Keegan Daniel
    Lwazi Mvovo
    Odwa Ndungane
    Pat Lambie
    Ryan Kankowski
    Tendai Mtawarira
    Willem Alberts

  • Comment 28, posted at 20.04.11 12:17:09 by Viking Reply
  • @King Shark (Comment 4) : Sorry, but I don’t agree there. We haven’t been firing at all this year and, if we’re honest, haven’t looked like realistic title contenders. I think us and the Canes are about on the same level of competence at the moment.

  • Comment 29, posted at 20.04.11 13:35:11 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • HH, Are you trying to give the Sharks the ‘favourites’ tag? :mrgreen: Nice info mate. History does have a way of repeating itself.

  • Comment 30, posted at 20.04.11 16:32:39 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • Gavin Lawless… there’s a blast from the past! 😛

  • Comment 31, posted at 20.04.11 17:14:12 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • @Rahul (Comment 26) : Force!

  • Comment 32, posted at 20.04.11 17:38:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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