Crucial clash in store for Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 3 Apr 2012 at 09:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

While the Auckland Blues lie in wait for the Sharks in the fourth game of their tour next weekend, in round 7, it’s blues of another sort that they’ll need to shake off in order to record victory in Wellington.

History has shown that the third game of tour tends to be the hardest one for South African sides to win, with the so-called “third week blues”, caused mostly by homesickness after a fortnight on the road, often leading to a poor showing. The Sharks lost their third match last year, when they were unable to follow up on a superb 10-point haul in Australia with any points at all against the Chiefs; that showing in Hamilton, in fact, was probably about their worst of the campaign.

Working in their favour this year though, is the fact that they saw with their own eyes how the Cheetahs pulled off a remarkable victory against the Hurricanes last week and will know that they have the ability to do the same on Good Friday, if they just play to their strengths and maintain the same defensive commitment they showed against the Brumbies. The tour group is in good spirits after the first win in Canberra since the last century and with Pat Lambie and Bismarck du Plessis expected to be passed fit, coach Plumtree could have a full squad of 26 from which to select his side; a pretty handy position to be in after 6 rounds. The fiery hooker is battling a quad strain, but should recover in time, whilst Lambie took full part in training yesterday.

The Sharks will have set themselves a target of no fewer than 10 points from this tour, although 12 would be better and 15 absolutely perfect. They managed 6 in Australia, meaning that at least a single win in New Zealand is a must. The team would love to head to Auckland to take on the off-colour Blues knowing that they’ve already “made book”, to borrow a term from Contract Bridge. Picking up the four points (or preferably five) in New Plymouth could see them avoid heading to Eden Park to play a “must win” game just before stepping onto the plane, always a difficult situation to be in.

My feeling is that if the Sharks can eke out a win against the Canes, they’ll probably go on to give the Blues a real hiding and could even return to South Africa with an unheard-of 16 points from the tour. That certainly wouldn’t be a bad result, given the doom and gloom that pervaded after an agonising loss in Sydney in week one of the tour. Ah, but how quickly things can change within a rugby week; let’s hope that come Friday afternoon, we don’t find ourselves bemoaning a similar result.


  • This is going to be a very tough game, the Canes are going to be smarting from last weekend and are serious counter attacking specialists – ball security and keeping mistakes to a minimum will be absolutely critical.

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.04.12 09:06:32 by Pat Reply
  • Yeah last week i was really frustrated with the sharks, and now its all smiles and positivity! A week really does make a huge difference

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.04.12 09:08:54 by RuckingFun Reply
  • Really hope we have Bissie and Lambie start this weekend.

    Though getting a bit worried for Bissie playing non-stop for the full 80min. We difinitely need him for the home games against the Stormers and Bulls. We need look after him and give Burden some game time.

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.04.12 09:17:43 by Puma Reply
  • The Sharks will need to keep it tight and cut down on their mistakes with ball in hand. The Cane’s will thrive in a loose approach.

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.04.12 09:31:49 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 4) : and not kicking away possession…

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.04.12 09:38:35 by Franshark Reply
  • @Franshark (Comment 5) : That is implied in the keeping it tight 😉

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.04.12 09:58:16 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Crucial match it certainly is, but I have to question if some of the players either have or know they have the ability to do the same the Cheetahs did.

    This Sharks team are nowhere when it comes to the killer instinct a real shark is renowned for.

    They could have buried the Waratahs but then rested on the laurels they thought they had and got outscored 3 tries to 0 in the last 28minutes after outscoring the Waratahs 3 tries to one in the 1st 51minutes.

    These guys need to actually read this blog and look at the criticism they get on here and then go away and do some serious soul searching. If they then feel they can honestly say the criticism is unfair then let it be water off a duck’s back but some of them need to take the criticism to heart and act on it.

    We have a youngster in the team who played on after being kneed in the jaw so badly that he might actually miss 2 games afterwards because of the injury, but he showed no fade in the last 20min, we have another youngster who leads the tackle stats, both of whom played a full 80mins in that game with no complaints of jetlag. We have a senior player at hooker who did the same and has been giving his all everyweek since week 1. Why can’t ALL the players, junior or senior, 1st time or seasoned tourist, do that?

    Why can some of our players look ripped and athletic? Yet some still carry babyfat unbefitting of the title “professional rugby player”?

    This IS a crucial match, but to me it is much more crucial that these guys SHOW the heart and commitment that seems to be lacking.

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.04.12 10:01:18 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Reading rugby365 they say Plum said Lambie was feeling a lot better and will only select him if he is totally fine, will only know later this week. Othewise will keep him out until the Blues game. Also Odwa has flu.

    Now if Odwa can’t play cause of flu really hope we go with Jordaan and not Ludick on the wing.

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.04.12 10:01:38 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 8) : If Odwa has the flu there is no ways he will be ready by the weekend.

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.04.12 10:11:38 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 9) : For sure. Though read that on rugby365 so have to wait and see later this week. If he does have flu, hoping it is Jordaan then on the wing and not Ludick.

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.04.12 10:18:32 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 10) : Perhaps he has a cold and not the flu. Most journo’s can’t seem to be able to tell the different between the 2.

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.04.12 10:30:52 by lostfish Reply
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  • 😈 Ja, nee! With the Stormers starting to tour, the Cheetahs back, the Saders on Loftus and the determined Sharks against the hurting Canes, this week-end will bring a new kind of look to the log come Sunday!
    Well worth chewing through the staps and escapping to the local to go and watch!:twisted:

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.04.12 11:07:43 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • Put Bissie on the bench for this one and give Burden a start. Let him recover fully from his injury. And if it’s really a must let Bissie come on in the last 20mins of the game. I have a feeling Burden won’t let the team down.

  • Comment 13, posted at 03.04.12 12:11:49 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Start with Bissie on the beÑch if fit. We’ll need to play Bulls rugby- the physical stuff, rolling mauls, pick up and drives, playing for territory etc this Friday….I don’t want us to get caught up in an open game against these guys..

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.04.12 12:17:31 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Happy Birthday John Smit.

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.04.12 12:22:12 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • in 2009 we lost to Reds in our third game on tour, in 2010 we also lost.

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.04.12 13:07:20 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 16) : 2008 lost to Brumbies

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.04.12 13:08:46 by rekinek Reply
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  • in 2007 we beat the Blues in our third game on tour !!

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.04.12 13:11:06 by rekinek Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : Amen to that!

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.04.12 13:51:33 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @ comment 8,

    He will definitely go for experience which means Ludik

  • Comment 20, posted at 03.04.12 15:27:51 by dawj Reply

  • “…with the so-called “third week blues”, caused mostly by homesickness after a fortnight on the road, often leading to a poor showing.”

    I’m sorry. I just do not believe “home sickness” has anything whatsoever to do with it.

    These are pros. It is their job. Many of them will have travelled to NZ and Aus many times before and therefore will have experienced and seen it all before. I really cannot believe that adult men would suffer from home sickness 3 weeks into a job abroad.

    Why would the 3rd game be any more difficult than the 4th if “home sickness” is to blame? Surely the 4th game would be the worst seeing as it comes after spending even more time away.

    Sorry, but this is nonsense.

  • Comment 21, posted at 03.04.12 21:44:01 by siorc Reply

    Gold's Member
  • Woohoo. Earned a 2nd gold star.

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.04.12 21:45:07 by siorc Reply

    Gold's Member

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