Richard Ferguson

What needs to be done?

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 14 May 2012 at 11:30
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The Sharks travel to Bloemfontein this weekend to take on the Cheetahs, in what is another must win game for the Durban based side. The Cheetahs, who some have written off this year, ran the mighty Stormers close this past weekend, and the Sharks would be silly to underestimate them.

Looking at the Cheetahs season so far, and looking closely at their performance against the Stormers this past weekend, there are a few areas of concern ahead of the clash in Bloem this weekend, as well as a few areas where the Sharks can take advantage and pull off a much needed win.

Let’s start with the concerning facets in the Cheetahs play, first of which is the breakdowns. The Cheetahs, through Heinrich Brussouw and Coenie Oosthuizen, hit an enormous amount of rucks, and if the Sharks do not protect their ball at the breakdown, we are sure to lose valuable possession. The Sharks need to employ the same game plan on Brussouw as what they did with David Pocock this weekend, neutralising him and keeping him out of the game.

The Sharks will also do well to keep away from the off the ball antics the Cheetahs enjoy, and we can be assured that they will try and entice the likes of Jannie or Bismarck du Plessis into a tussle, which will not only unsettle both players and shift their focus from the task at hand, but we cannot afford playing against an attacking team like the Cheetahs with only 14 men. Keegan Daniel’s captaincy and leadership will be tested in this regard, and the ability to keep the team calm will be key.

The Cheetahs seemed to struggle in the scrums against the likes of Brok Harris and the relatively inexperienced Steven Kitshoff, and this is an area the Sharks are able to dominate, securing our own ball as well as putting pressure on the Cheetah’s ball, and in so doing forcing turnovers and penalties.

The Cheetahs like to kick possession away, as do the Sharks, with the Cheetahs making 32 kicks in the game against the Stormers. The Sharks have the better outside backs, with the ability to run at the Cheetahs instead of kicking the ball back. Hennie Daniller at fullback can kick the ball miles, and the Sharks will have to be on their toes at the back, as the extra distance in kicks can catch them off guard. The Sharks need to keep ball in hand and make sure they score tries, as the Cheetahs are not a team that will go down by a few points, as they are quick to score a few tries and overturn a big deficit.

A weakness in the Cheetahs backline is Robert Ebersohn, who has missed the most tackles in an orange jersey so far this season, and targeting him with big runs from Whitehead, Jordaan and Pietersen could create the linebreaks the Sharks need to score those tries. The Cheetahs are also currently struggling with a flyhalf that has no confidence in himself, making silly errors and kicking away any decent ball. Pressure on Sias would force errors and more possession for the Sharks to play with.

The Cheetahs’ lineouts are a strong, well working unit, and the Sharks will have to be careful to not lose their own lineout ball. The Sharks themselves have been doing really well in the set pieces, dominating scrums over the last few weeks and getting better every week in the lineouts.

The Sharks need to focus on doing their own basics right, put pressure on the weak links in the Cheetahs team, and this match could be another win in the bag. The key is that the Sharks should not underestimate the Cheetahs, and remember to play for the full 80 minutes.


  • In other words target the twins we were trying to lure to Durban at one stage and this one is almost in the bag 😀

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.05.12 12:08:12 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Worried about this game. Not going to be easy. Hope Botes starts again.

    McLeod is a weak link. We need to draft Reinach into this team ASAP.

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.05.12 12:14:47 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I call for one change this weekend, Albert’s in for Kanko…..

    Hows Lambi’s injury….. hope his good to go…..

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.05.12 12:25:58 by Franshark Reply
  • @Ben (Comment 2) : Agreed. the extra forward on the bench is an unnecessary luxury. choose one of Kanko or Deysel (prefer Deysel myself) and get Reinach in to the 22 asap!

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.05.12 12:32:00 by Greg Reply

  • Just hope Lambie is ready for this game. Cheetahs will be very tough to beat.

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.05.12 12:46:25 by Puma Reply

  • This is our usual trip-up game – Cheetahs in Bloem.

    Cheetahs have a couple of players that can wreck us at the breakdown – Brussouw, Coenie, Andries Strauss. We need more of the same on how we kept Pocock from disrupting our ball

    I would not change the starting 15 just yet. Stats shows Botes did a lot of work in this game (most tackles, most rucks attended).

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.05.12 12:54:08 by Bokhoring Reply
  • did anyone see how the stormers target the lower parts of the body when they were under pressure to defend their lines..worked quiet well against the cheetahs..Tackle low and hard..

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.05.12 13:21:05 by shaniboi Reply

  • Eish – Cheetahs are our boggie team – have to say not so confident we can win this. The Cheetahs will be hurting badly after an almost win at Newlands. Wonder how many penalties the DuP Bros. will give away.
    This is going to be one heck of a clash of the titans – and epic game I think.

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.05.12 13:26:42 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @shaniboi (Comment 7) : Don’t understand why that tactic is used more – so much more effective and successful that trying to go high and get ball and player.

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.05.12 13:28:02 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @Ben (Comment 2) : I was thinking with McLeod hell-bent on running laterally before making the pass and the opposition defence shifting oh so comfortably to close down the space of our wing on the far side, why not just get the wing on the near side to run off McLeod’s shoulder for an offload. I’m pretty sure there’s a gap to exploit there.

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.05.12 13:30:52 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Just a Fan (Comment 9) : Low and hard is Lambie’s tackling technique – how he puts down much bigger players than him. The idea of the smothering tackle is to prevent the player offloading in the tackle, but it can also backfire as it is easier for the tackled player to break through such tackles

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.05.12 13:32:08 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 11) : It backfires SO often it is so infuriating…

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.05.12 13:37:48 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • The Cheetahs play a high risk, high reward game plan. If the Sharks put pressure on them and capitalise on the Cheetahs risks then they can win. However, the Sharks are also known for making plenty of mistakes themselves and ensuring the Cheetahs dont capitalise on those will be the key i feel.

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.05.12 13:54:26 by SheldonK Reply

  • Well this one is going to be tough but we should be able to win by 5 but 21 wou;d be great :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.05.12 09:11:02 by chaz Reply

  • Keep it tight, slow it down, play in their half, make sure we do the basics right and pounce on the odd opportunity that comes our way.

    Hope Peyper isn`t anywhere near Bloem on Saturday.

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.05.12 09:33:48 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre

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