Sharks draw “bogey team” for semi

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 14 Oct 2013 at 11:37
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

The 2013 ABSA Currie Cup round robin phase ended in fine style this weekend, even if the results didn’t go exactly the way the Sharks would have wanted. Let’s recap and then have a look at the confirmed semi-final line-ups.

The opening game, between the Lions and Griquas, produced pretty much what we expected. The Lions duly bagged the five points that they needed to ensure the best possible finish for themselves, but were always going to be at the mercy of whatever the Cheetahs managed to produce in the game to follow. It wasn’t a great game, with the undisciplined Lions conceding 7 kickable penalties to Gouws Prinsloo, which saw Griquas finish just seven points behind (28-35) despite being outscored by four tries to one. Let’s not forget that this was a second-string Griquas team, against the finest the Lions could muster. At Ellis Park. Well….

Next up, the Cheetahs proved far too strong for a Blue Bulls team that has looked out of idea all season. Needing only to draw level with the Lions on log points to proceed ahead of them (more about that later), the 22-7 win (without bonus point) that the Cheetahs picked up proved sufficient to see them safely through and send the Bulls crashing out of the semi-final draw. A last-minute SARU ruling (or was that a last-minute clarification to an existing one?) decreed that in the case of a tie in log points, the first deciding factor would be points difference between the two teams in question, rather than points difference overall. Since the Cheetahs had managed to win both fixtures against the Lions, it thus would not have been possible for the Lions to overtake the Cheetahs at all this week, unless the Cheetahs had lost.

There was, though, much confusion for most of the afternoon, with early logs showing the cheetahs confirmed in fourth and the Lions third, only for that finishing position to be reversed later.

The final game of the round was everything the tournament organisers could have hoped for – a straight shoot-out between first and second on the log. On a day the hosts would best forget as soon as possible, Western Province produced a far more composed performance in the wet to claim a 17-13 away win over the Sharks, thus cementing their position at the summit of the table and giving them the right to host the final – assuming they don’t lose at home next week. Province, though, haven’t lost a game all season and are looking increasingly unlikely to do so now, especially with their last two games at Newlands. They play the first semi-final against the Lions, kicking off in Cape Town at 14h30 on Saturday.

As for the Sharks? Well, it didn’t turn out quite so well for them; they now play the Cheetahs in Durban at 17h00 in the second semi-final and know that a vastly-improved performance will be needed to avoid an upset against their once “bogey team”, who developed an unfortunate habit of knocking the Sharks out of finals in years gone by.


  • Ouens, i dont want to be the devils advocate this week… and i am REALY trying hard not to be negative about our team… BUT we face the cheetahs whos front row should be a bigger threath than the one whom beaten us on the weekend, PLUS if we make it through to boolands (no offence to the lions) for the final… WP HAVE NEVER LOST A FINAL AT boolands!!!!!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.10.13 11:42:37 by R Hayward Reply
  • @R Hayward (Comment 1) : one week at a time, I reckon. One week at a time.

    There is little doubt we would be rank outsiders for any title decider at Newlands. But first we really need to win this weekend.

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.10.13 11:53:21 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @R Hayward (Comment 1) : there is always a first time

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.10.13 11:53:24 by jovner Reply

  • Ai ouens, i REALY expected more from this years boks upon return…
    Somehow seems that things did not change with them there… same as the past 3 years.

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.10.13 11:57:43 by R Hayward Reply

  • @R Hayward (Comment 1) : Actually I would say WP is more of a threat at scrum time than the Cheetahs.

    Our second string front row (ex Beast, Bissie and Jannie) handled their second string one (ex Coenie and Strauss) reasonably well. Hopefully after another week of scrum practice, we should improve in this dept

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.10.13 11:57:50 by Bokhoring Reply
  • I have a bigger fear for the Cheetah front row than for the WP laaities!

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.10.13 11:58:59 by R Hayward Reply

  • @R Hayward (Comment 1) : There’s a first for everything 🙂 You know I’d actually prefer to beat WP at Newlands than to beat them at the Tank. Just to rip it away from under their noses would be the sweetest thing.

    Cheetahs front row is bigger but so is ours.

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.10.13 12:02:24 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I think our problems against WP was more of a timing issue than a front row issue. WP hit us the moment Bismarck had his foot up to hook the ball, and scrummed superbly as a unit.

    Whereas in those scrums it almost looked like we had little power coming from the back 5 to counteract their shove.

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.10.13 12:10:15 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Cheetahs is no longer our bogey team, that is now Province causing us problems.

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.10.13 13:32:10 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • It was a sad day for any sharks supporter on Saturday. Denial is a mistake. I would like to encourage a discussion on the perceived challenges.
    1. We have struggled with our scrums for most of this season even with our boks in. It is not only the props and hooker that scrums but also 5 other teammates? With my very limited knowledge, the locks anchoring and pushing plays a big role ?
    2. We have been challenged in lineouts during the season? When Marco played and called the lineouts we were good.
    3. We have struggled to win the ball loose ?

    If we struggle with our set pieces how will we win crucial matches let alone a semi-final and final.

    I think we should forget the final and make sure we have a plan to win this weekend!

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.10.13 13:43:11 by observer Reply

  • The current Wp pack is way beter than what they had in many years, I also think the two WP props that started should tour with Bokke in November. WP and Sharks forwards are very close.

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.10.13 13:43:47 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @R Hayward (Comment 6) : Jannie vs Coenie ,no contest brah 😎 Unless they play him at tight head ,then it may get seriously ugly for them.

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.10.13 13:44:56 by Talent Reply
  • @observer (Comment 10) : Very good points .I have my suspicions about our locks and loose-forwards scrumming. If it were me choosing a team this week ,I would consider Hewitt over Marias and Coetzee over Botes and overpower their pack.

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.10.13 13:48:28 by Talent Reply
  • Hewitt has more experience to play in pressure situations, he is more physical and everytime they played him, the scrums improved. You have to play Keegan but having him and Botes has a weight and size impact. How about Alberts(If he plays)with Marcelle, Keegan and Deysel on the bench?

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.10.13 13:55:51 by observer Reply

  • Just a thought… didnt the Sharks make Province their bitches last season, winning the second pool game of the super 15, the semi final, at Newlands, both Pool games games in the Currie Cup, only to go down in the finals at Kings Park?? There is always hope lads. If we get past the Cheetahs in the semis (who havent been our bogie team for some years now) its 50:50 in a final, especially if the weather stays dry in Newlands. This last weekends game was a Captains practice. They had a better one, but the game was still up for grabs until the final hooter.

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.10.13 14:16:12 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @observer (Comment 10) :
    I think you are spot on.

    One more thing on the scrums; I thought Kaplan allowed WP to push too early on most hits. Probably didn’t want too many resets, but it did end up disadvantaging us.

    Not griping though – given the experience in our pack, we should have adapted.

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.10.13 14:26:10 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I thought the hardest lesson learned on the night was the one Fred Zeilinga learned. Taking those drop goals when he did really wasn’t the smartest thing to do on the night. I know he is a relatively astute dropper of the ball, but he seemed rushed and under pressure every time. He also seemed to have trouble with his passing in the rain or maybe his whole game was just of because of the occasion, but whatever it was, I hope he’s a better player for it. I bet he’ll be better next time around.

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.10.13 14:33:25 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I also didn’t like that we didn’t play our advantage, but instead Charl “went for the drop” to take the penalty.

    If you have an advantage, you should play it and see what you can do with it. The defending team usually commits even another error for another advantage and this gives you some “free” time on the ball to see what you can do.

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.10.13 14:35:18 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I didn’t think Kaplan always made the right decision at scrum time. Every time we put province under pressure, the scrum collapsed (seemingly Province buckling under the pressure) but Kaplan just let it go. This happened 3 or 4 times, as I can remember it.

    Sure WP did well in the scrums, but I thought the ref assisted them a little. Well, they played it smart or rather cunningly and got past the ref (IMO).

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.10.13 14:37:54 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Provinces defense was excellent and I think that was ultimately the frustrating factor that kept the Sharks out.

    Like Nick Mallett said, this was a quality game – I just think the Sharks made more mistakes on the night and in a tight game like this you can’t afford many errors, even 1 mistake at the wrong time could cost you the game.

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.10.13 14:40:40 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • As for the trophy now really hanging in the balance – I think we all know the Sharks does better as underdogs.

    We’ll fix the things that bothered this week. We have a couple of smart coaches that won’t leave the set pieces as they are for the semi. We’ll see a marked improvement in this area, I’m sure of it.

    The team is a good one, Lambie should start, he look excellent in his 40 minutes – He missed two crucial kicks, which was really disappointing and hard to explain given that he slotted one from right up against the side-line earlier in the game, but I decided to put it down to the responsibility of taking kicks in match situations, something he knew he wouldn’t have to do for about 3 months and then suddenly got two last night. Lets just say he wasn’t ready and he had to miss those to so that he wouldn’t do it again this year.

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.10.13 14:47:31 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • As for the possible/probable final at Newlands. That pretty much still sucks in my mind and I can’t hope for a Lions win, because I just know that’s the perfect scenario for the Sharks to then just throw it away.

    For me, if we want to win this, we have to get to Newlands and replicate what we did to them in the S15 semi final last year.

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.10.13 14:49:45 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 22) : We where on a high of selfbelieve in that SR semi last year. Dont know if we are this year… Even myself doubt my beloved team. I need to find faith to believe in them somewhere this week!

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.10.13 14:57:16 by R Hayward Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 22) : and what they did to us last year. Come on, what better opportunity than to pull one back on them and break their good record in finals at Newlands

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.10.13 15:40:24 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @R Hayward (Comment 23) : Sure, but after flying to Queensland to play the Reds and then flying back to play the table topping team, I think a lot of the confidence was veiled with a – “If we can do this it would be a miracle.”

    I think that was a tougher game to win than this one would be – or lets say, the odds was stacked against us way more than it would be if we played the final at Newlands – that is if we win against he Cheetahs, which I’m more worried about right now!

    But like I said – The Sharks love being an underdog, so I hope we don’t win against the Cheetahs to convincingly and whoever takes the other semi smashes their opposition.

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.10.13 16:08:28 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well I don’t mind playing WP at Newlands in the final, we stand a better chance beating them at Newlands than at Kingspark. Our last Currie Cup final win was at Newlands in 2010, where Lambie destroyed them.

  • Comment 26, posted at 14.10.13 16:14:24 by ACam Reply

  • @ACam (Comment 26) : That was at Kings Park – but WP were the overwhelming favourites

  • Comment 27, posted at 14.10.13 16:15:54 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring sorry my bad

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.10.13 16:19:19 by ACam Reply

  • @ACam (Comment 28) : The way everybody and his dog talked up WP’s chances, you would be excused for thinking it was at Newlands 😆

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.10.13 16:21:27 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 25) : OK OK, so we should start saying “the sharks cant win anything from here on in” that seems to do the trick?

  • Comment 30, posted at 14.10.13 16:31:05 by R Hayward Reply

  • In
    2009 Sharks 2 – 1 Cheetahs (Cheetahs won the Semi)
    2010 Sharks 2 – 0 Cheetahs
    2011 Sharks 2 – 1 Cheetahs (Cheetahs won Rnd 10)
    2012 Sharks 2 – 0 Cheetahs
    2013 Sharks 2 – 0 Cheetahs
    5yrs Sharks 10 – 2 Cheetahs

    The days of the Cheetahs having our number are long gone. They have managed to beat us twice in the last 12 CC outings.

    We will take this comfortably this weekend.

  • Comment 31, posted at 14.10.13 16:32:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 31) : Ah now thats interesting. It kinda looks to me like we are the bogey team for the Cheetahs if anything. 😎

  • Comment 32, posted at 14.10.13 16:51:18 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 31) : I know it might be a moot point, but can you look at Super Rugby too?

  • Comment 33, posted at 14.10.13 16:56:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 33) : I could but it’s a moot point 😛

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.10.13 17:00:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • In SR the Cheetahs have beaten us 4 times in the last 11 outings.
    They have beaten us ONCE in the last 3 years.

    So if we combine SR and CC for 2011,12 and 13:
    Sharks v Cheetahs
    Sharks 11(5SR,6CC) v 2 (1SR,1CC) Cheetahs

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.10.13 17:14:29 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Are the Cheetahs really our bogey team? I could agree on that a couple of years ago, but lately we have nothing to fear from Free State. The Lions are our bogey team lately. The games we played against the Lions, both in Durbs and Jo’burg) were nailbiters from the first to the last minute and I am happy we play the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 36, posted at 14.10.13 17:16:29 by TRF_Ezequiel Reply

  • any of you guys notice the inverted commas in the headline?

  • Comment 37, posted at 14.10.13 17:38:31 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Look guy’s if we are complacent and too relaxed going into this semi… we are going to KAK!

  • Comment 38, posted at 15.10.13 06:56:38 by R Hayward Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 31) : If its dry, yes, we should take it comfortably. 😕

    If its wet, different story?? 😐

  • Comment 39, posted at 15.10.13 07:55:06 by SharksRTB Reply

  • Kobus Wiese, Breyton Paulse and Aswin Willemse all give it to the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 40, posted at 15.10.13 08:26:46 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 40) : We need to stand up and deliver, else we will be laughed at

  • Comment 41, posted at 15.10.13 08:31:28 by SharksRTB Reply

  • We need to forget the past and play out of our skins on Saturday. The past does not equal the future, That goes for the final too should we get there! (We’d better get there! )

  • Comment 42, posted at 15.10.13 20:48:19 by [email protected] Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.