robdylan

Ending the fairytale


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks on 24 Oct 2011 at 10:51
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The major difference between real life and the stories we like to read to our kids to help them sleep is this: sometimes in real life, the good guys don’t win.

Let’s not beat around the bush here – the Lions’ Currie Cup campaign has the makings of a fairy-tale; a ragged, down and out bunch of no-hopers who have been moulded into a formidable unit by their enigmatic coach John Mitchell. In a competition where they never had any stars, they systematically dismantled virtually all opposition and continued their inexorable march to a first Currie Cup title in about 150 years by beating a start-studded WP team in the semi-finals.

“They said the return of the Boks would finish us… they were wrong!” You can almost see the byline now on the poster advertising the movie.

In this story, it’s the Lions – Josh Strauss, John Mitchell and supporting cast – who are the Hollywood style heroes. The Sharks have been inevitably cast as the villains – the arrogant crowd of big-name superstars determined to crush the underdog dream. For the Sharks and their fans this week, it’s vital not to get drawn into this overly emotional fairytale vibe and rather concentrate on winning the battle that really matters: the 80 minutes on the field.

There are a few reassuring historical factors pointing the Sharks way here. Firstly, in 4 finals to date between these teams, the home side has never won. Simply put, for a Sharks side playing against the Lions in the Currie Cup Final, you don’t want to be playing it in Durban. This team will look to emulate two of the best away finals performances we’ve yet seen, in which the 1992 and 1996 Natal/Sharks teams won the Currie Cup at Ellis Park.

Another interesting statistic reveals that the last time the Sharks won the cup as holders (that is, recorded back-to-back final wins) was against the Lions, in Johannesburg, in 1996. The previous year, the Sharks won in the final at Kings Park, against Western Province. This year’s Sharks stand to repeat history, having themselves won the Cup against Province in Durban in 2010.

None of the above ultimately matters, though. The Sharks will know that they have the beating of the Lions, particularly upfront, if they stick to what works for them and enforce their own game. Nothing really matters other than achieving that goal. Let’s worry about the fairytale endings – or the might-have-beens – after the final whistle.


56 Comments

  • Very well written πŸ™‚

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.10.11 10:57:44 by mikey Reply
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  • Never was a fan of fairy tales go SHARKS! We are black we are white we are we are dynamite πŸ˜€

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.10.11 11:01:57 by Poisy Reply
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  • @mikey (Comment 1) : thanks mate…. there’s another key factor here. A few players in the Lions lineup are keen to show the Sharks management that they shouldn’t have been let go. I’m thinking your schoolmates in particular. That can work to the Lions advantage, or to ours if we can unsettle them

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.10.11 11:03:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • Lambie will be the fairytale killer at flyhalf. 😈

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.10.11 11:08:48 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Ya.. That is a good point. Rhodes has been extremely physical at lock or flank and Cilliers is normally able to hold his own in the scrums. (Mouth watering clash. Ross not getting any game time could also be an indication that he will play for the lions

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.10.11 11:25:46 by mikey Reply

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  • I was at that 96 final … heartbreak..

    Rob 150 years … πŸ™„ now now

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.10.11 11:34:45 by CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! Reply

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  • The Lions have one HUGE advantage over us and that is their breakdown efficiency. That is where they beat the Woeful Performers and where they will beat us in the final if we don’t boss the breakdowns with numbers.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.10.11 11:37:08 by rhineshark Reply
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  • I’m 100% behind the Sharks to win but IF the Lions win they will deserve it, they’ve really played well during this CC and they have shown a lot of character. For me disipline is going to play a mayor part in Saturdays game.

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.10.11 11:42:38 by Nita Reply

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  • Gonna be huge !!!!!

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.10.11 11:52:18 by Speed7 Reply

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  • It’s going to be a tough game. The Lions aren’t the Snoils anymore.

    And it won’t be anything like the last play-off game. We’ll have to play a big game to walk away winners here.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.10.11 11:53:48 by Letgo Reply
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  • If the Lions win, I’ll be a bit disappointed but I’ll know it was against a team that deserves to win it.

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.10.11 12:06:26 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! (Comment 6) : That 1996 final was probably my favourite one.

    Okay maybe the 1990 was a wee bit better πŸ˜€

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.10.11 12:07:26 by beet Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 4) : yea thats the spirit

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.10.11 12:11:12 by Franshark Reply
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  • I see a lot of you guys have been swept up in this ‘the Lions deserve it bullshit’.

    Let them win the final, then we’ll know they deserved it.

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.10.11 12:16:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : a+ for that comment, SHARKS to win by a mile and “deserved” to.

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.10.11 12:24:24 by Franshark Reply
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  • For most of this year, I have been pretty vocal of my criticism of the Sharks coaches for their blind spot towards our centre problem, their inability to address the issue and their lack of succession planning.

    I have been pretty hard on Meyer Bosman & Oupa Stef, and to say I have been critical of Marius Joubert would be to make an understatement along the lines of “Hitler had a bit of an issue with folk of Jewish origin”.

    I have bemoaned our lack of cohesion in our lineout play, be the fault with jumpers, lifters or thrower.

    I have roundly criticised our lack of intensity, our one-dimensional game-plans, and our inability to adjust.

    But…

    None of that matters now. It is finals week, and all other concerns are secondary. Criticims can wait, and will anyway achieve nothing now. Time to back the boys, regardless of who they are – put on the black & white and I am 100% with you and for you!

    LET’S GO ANNIHILATE SOME LIONS!!! The bleeding heart “aw but they deserve it” drivel can resume next week, thank you.

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.10.11 12:25:00 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : We’ll make a special, desereve it cup, and they can lift that one and take a lap of honor with that one, while we take the Currie Cup, winners trophy. 😈

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.10.11 12:26:26 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 16) : next week? more like next year πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.10.11 12:30:02 by Franshark Reply
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  • THIS IS SPARTA !!!!!!!! hehehe

    man this is going to be crazy !! Sharks a whole different cattle of fish (so to speak) than province. Sharks have the best front row in the currie cup IMO .

    LIONS ALL the way though !!! BRING IT HOME !!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.10.11 12:36:57 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 19) : At least they can’t ever accuse you of being the pot calling the cattle black :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.10.11 12:40:40 by beet Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 17) : πŸ˜›

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.10.11 12:47:36 by Franshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : thats how I feel about the team of the year as well, how do you explain that the team of the year won’t have won any competitions

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.10.11 12:50:54 by BR Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 16) : ❗

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.10.11 13:04:30 by Letgo Reply
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  • when are the match officials going to be announced for this game.

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.10.11 13:12:03 by BR Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 24) : We need Marius Jonker. He seems to have taken a liking to us. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.10.11 13:24:22 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 25) :

    dam no please !!!!!! hahaha

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.10.11 13:29:06 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 22) : So by that reasoning only Boland and UCT currently qualify as Team of the year nominees?

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.10.11 13:37:19 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

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  • @KSA Shark Β© (Comment 27) : then at least a team that played against team with their near full strenght squads will get the award.

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.10.11 13:40:09 by BR Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 25) : some cheetah fans even accused him of taking bribes to let us win this past weekend. πŸ˜†

    Personally I don’t want him doing our game, he gets to hot under the collar and screws a team over as if they offended him personally.

    What did we expect from an ex-SAP detective. πŸ™‚

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.10.11 13:41:01 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

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  • @Culling Song (Comment 16) : With you there. Yes we still have some niggling problems but on the up side at least we don`t have to deal with clueless bosman anymore.

    Lets go out there on saturday and defend our Cup !

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.10.11 13:41:37 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 25) : Hope Mark Lawrence is available . . . 😈

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.10.11 13:42:34 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 31) :

    apparently it will be him

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.10.11 14:29:05 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I can confirm via SARU that Mark Lawrence is reffing the 2011 CC final, with Marius Jonker being a touch judge.

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.10.11 14:31:39 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

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  • @KSA Shark Β© (Comment 33) : that’s not good news for us

  • Comment 34, posted at 24.10.11 14:40:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) : He’s a good ref but I have my reservations about him reffing us.

  • Comment 35, posted at 24.10.11 14:42:36 by KSA Shark Β© Reply

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  • “Another interesting statistic reveals that the last time the Sharks won the cup as holders (that is, recorded back-to-back final wins) was against the Lions, in Johannesburg, in 1996. The previous year, the Sharks won in the final at Kings Park, against Western Province. This year’s Sharks stand to repeat history, having themselves won the Cup against Province in Durban in 2010.”

    Lets not look at this stat too closely, as after they beat the Lions the Sharks then took 12 years to win it again.

  • Comment 36, posted at 24.10.11 14:48:02 by waje Reply

     
  • @waje (Comment 36) : Good point.

  • Comment 37, posted at 24.10.11 14:52:00 by Letgo Reply
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  • @KSA Shark Β© (Comment 35) : exactly… he seems to get very technical and “short” with us…

  • Comment 38, posted at 24.10.11 14:56:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 38) : I think He’ll be fine.

  • Comment 39, posted at 24.10.11 15:00:48 by Letgo Reply
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  • @waje (Comment 36) : Who was our flyhalf when we won in 1996?

  • Comment 40, posted at 24.10.11 15:03:49 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 40) : I’m geussing Honibal

  • Comment 41, posted at 24.10.11 15:06:00 by Letgo Reply
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  • @CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! (Comment 6) : Me too, euphoria.

  • Comment 42, posted at 24.10.11 15:08:12 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 41) : Good so it was a Saffa not a Frenchman :mrgreen:

  • Comment 43, posted at 24.10.11 15:10:40 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 43) : Unless, now that you mention it, it was Lacroix…which may be possible. He did come and play for the Sharks directly after the 95 WC, and he did win a CC with us, but did he win both 95 and 96 with us.

    I think so.

  • Comment 44, posted at 24.10.11 15:21:57 by Letgo Reply
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  • No, it was Honibal – http://youtu.be/aUmkszso4Pw

  • Comment 45, posted at 24.10.11 15:23:57 by Letgo Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 20) :

    hahah i like my cattle red and white please πŸ˜›

  • Comment 46, posted at 24.10.11 15:34:53 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I’m happy with Mark..

  • Comment 47, posted at 24.10.11 16:11:08 by Ice Ice Bokkie Reply
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  • Speaking as a guy working in a company filled with Lions supporters who have been carrying on as though they’ve already won the trophy I hope the Sharks crush the Lions on Saturday!

    Will it happen? No, it’ll be a tight game and whoever wins will deserve the trophy – be it the Sharks or the Lions. But I really hope the Cups (Currie Cup and Haweru Cup) are going to be down in Durban.

  • Comment 48, posted at 25.10.11 09:47:06 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 48) :

    Well after the semi at Ellis this week ..Shark fans at the game had the same atitude ..just need to pitch -up and all that ..

    Every group of supporters have a section that get too cocky for their own good and then cry long crocodile tears..

  • Comment 49, posted at 25.10.11 10:15:59 by CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! Reply

    csb
     
  • @CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! (Comment 49) : Unfortunately this is the perception that I’m picking up on the ground here in Durban.

    Fans think that coz the Sharks have their Boks back, the team will merely stroll into the Lions’ Den with a 15 point advantage prior to kickoff and this game will amount to a forgone conclusion.

    There is not enough respect for the Lions and what they are capable of going around.

  • Comment 50, posted at 25.10.11 10:25:13 by beet Reply
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  • @CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! (Comment 49) : That is true and there are many people who think the Boks walk on water (we’ve seen they don’t).

    Any final no matter who you play is going to be tough. After all no one gave the French a hope and they came a missed drop goal away from beating the ABs on Sunday.

    Every player has to rock up and play to his potential in the team. The Lions got that right against Weer Probeer on Saturday and if the Sharks are going to win, they need to go the same.

  • Comment 51, posted at 25.10.11 10:27:38 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 50) :

    Thats okay if the fans wanna believe that, its their right ..all that really matters on Sat what the players think ..

  • Comment 52, posted at 25.10.11 10:32:51 by CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! Reply

    csb
     
  • @beet (Comment 40) : Honibal.

    Lacroix was the hero when we won in 1995 and he kind of assumed that Mac would pick him to start at 10 in 96 as well… apparently he was very miffed at only cracking the bench that year… and Henry (along with Jouba) was sublime in the final.

  • Comment 53, posted at 25.10.11 10:33:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Butchie34 (Comment 51) :

    Look make no mistake Alberts and Bismark reno their way across water very easily .. πŸ˜‰

    Bottom line imo if the Sharks pitch and click the Lions are in for a long afternoon ..

    We’ll have to be alot more accuarate than we were against Provinve .

  • Comment 54, posted at 25.10.11 10:35:40 by CSB Win it for Jannie Breedt ! Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 53) : I remember that Andre Watson wasn’t so sublime in that game. Seemed like he wanted to give Pienaar a hero’s farewell.

  • Comment 55, posted at 25.10.11 12:14:27 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 55) : yes… Andre had a bit of a funny patch late in the game where he tried to blow us right out of it… luckily Jouba wouldn’t let him

  • Comment 56, posted at 25.10.11 12:58:10 by robdylan Reply
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