Who do you root for when the Sharks aren’t playing?

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 28 May 2014 at 12:36
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The Sharks have not given up their 1st place since the start of this competition and that is how they would like to keep it. Everyone knows that winning this competition starts with securing at least a home semi-final, although the record of past winners would suggest that top of the log is the best place to be when the play-offs start.

With 4 rounds remaining the Sharks are 5 and 7 log points ahead of their closest rivals, the Waratahs and Crusaders respectively, but as both teams have 1 game more than the Sharks to play, this “psychological buffer” is one the Sharks can only protect, with certainty, if they take maximum points out of their remaining games. Three wins without bonus points will give the Sharks another 12 log points to end on 56, with bonus points 59. The Waratahs and the Crusaders, without bonus points, can still end on 55 and 53 log points and with bonus points 59 and 57 respectively.

Every other team will be out of the running for top spot as soon as the Sharks win just one more game. Technically 8 teams (including the Waratahs and Crusaders) can still get to 48 log points, the Bulls being one of these teams, but since the Sharks have a superior win/loss record, 48 log points will be enough to secure them the conference win and 3rd spot on the log.

Ending first in one’s conference, does not mean much if you have to play the “quarter final” then an away semi-final and final. Therefore 3 from 3 must be the Sharks’ aim.

A good way to look at the log from now on, is from a perspective of how many log points teams could still possibly end with, considering no bonus points and maximum points.

Sharks 56 59
Waratahs 55 59
Crusaders 53 57
Force 52 56
Highlanders 52 56
Chiefs 51 55
Hurricanes 48 51
Brumbies 47 50
Bulls 45 48
Blues 42 46
Rebels 37 41
Stormers 36 39
Reds 34 38
Lions 30 33
Cheetahs 28 30

Presumably the teams in this top 6 are also the teams most likely to end in the top six of the log, although derbies and top of the log match-ups could still have a huge impact with only 4 rounds to go.

Upcoming fixtures:

Sharks – Stormers (H)/ Cheetahs (A)/ Stormers (A)

Waratahs – Chiefs (A)/ Brumbies (H)/ Highlanders (H)/ Reds (A)

Crusaders – Force (H)/ Hurricanes (A)/ Blues (H)/ Highlanders (H)

Force – Crusaders (A)/ Blues (H)/ Reds (H)/ Brumbies (A)

Highlanders – Reds (A)/ Chiefs (H)/ Waratahs (A)/ Crusaders (A)

Chiefs – Waratahs (H)/ Highlanders (A)/ Hurricanes (H)/ Blues (A)

Hurricanes – Blues (A)/ Crusaders (A)/ Chiefs (A)

Brumbies – Rebels (A)/ Waratahs (A)/ Force (H)

Bulls – Lions (A)/ Stormers (A)/ Rebels (H)

The Sharks are playing teams struggling this year, but unfortunately also teams from the same nationality and will have to stay focused to get their three wins. The Waratahs and Crusaders still have a few tough upcoming matches though and a loss in any of their upcoming matches could release some pressure for the Sharks.

That final match against the Stormers at Newlands will also be the final game of the rounds and by this time the Sharks should know exactly what they need to do to keep that top of the log spot for one final week…

… and then the two most important games of 2014 await!


  • So close yet so far…

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.05.14 13:06:07 by Caratacus Reply
  • The Sharks road does look easier but you never know with derbies.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.05.14 13:12:20 by Pokkel Reply
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  • a lot of the other top team must still play each other so don’t see them all getting max points.

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.05.14 13:18:19 by JD Reply
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  • Highly unlikely that any of chfs brumb sders will finish remaining games unbeaten. We should be confident of a nr1 finish. Im just extremely nervous about the Steyn situation, unless Lambie makes it back in time

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.05.14 13:19:53 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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    West Indies Cricket Board
  • Tahs i mean

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.05.14 13:22:33 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I am a bit worried about the Tahs…eo I’m really.supporting the Chiefs against them his weekend. The Reds and Rebels can really do us a few favours in the next weeks… 🙂

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.05.14 13:44:40 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Mine is simple. I root for any team that plays against 2nd & 3rd place on the log. Then have some sympathy for Stormers because of their alarming fall from championship material.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.05.14 14:09:46 by AP8 Reply

  • @AP8 (Comment 7) : looking at these fixtures, we’ll have to hope for a loss and close call victories (without bonus points) for the tahs and crusaders, the rest of the teams aren’t an issue although beating the stormers could prove to be more difficult then initially anticipated considering the’re in seriously great form of late jong.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.05.14 14:48:21 by Stiko85 Reply

  • @Stiko85 (Comment 8) : other teams lossing should be bonus, Sharks must win all three their last games as this will be the way to ensure that their top of the log.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.05.14 14:56:42 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 9) : We will need one or 2 bonus points at the end.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.05.14 15:05:11 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 10) : don’t think so if Sharks win all three games they should finish in top 2. bonus points will only be needed if they lose one or two games and really that should not happen.

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.05.14 15:10:14 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 3) : No, all of them won’t, but the Waratahs and Crusaders could possible get close to maximum. I think 56 points for the Sharks should be more than enough, even 53 – 2 wins and a losing bonus point could do the trick, but not if the Waratahs and Crusaders have an unbeaten final run, with a couple of bonus points to boot.

    Both those teams still have a few big games left though, so even 53 could be enough for top of the log. Like I said, we’ll know by the time we have to play the Stormers in the final game at Newlands.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.05.14 15:50:50 by Letgo Reply
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  • As long as the Sharks and the Bulls win their remaining 3 matches they both have a doubleplusgood chance of making the play-offs.

    That leaves 4 spots for the 7 teams between them. There are 9 matches between members of the 7 to come. Ie. Nine losses to share between the seven teams.

    The best outcome for the Sharks would be for the Waratahs and Crusaders to lose at least 1 match each. The rest do not matter.
    For the Bulls, the best outcome would be for the the Brumbies to lose at least once, and the Chiefs and Hurricanes at least twice.

    For SA the best scenario would be Sharks 1st and Bulls 4th. That way they could only meet in the final. 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.05.14 16:04:07 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 13) :

    I’m against any scenario where the Bulls have a chance of making the top 6. I would not be able to go on with life if 2007 repeats itself at Kings Park again this year. Seriously! The sooner the Bulls lose one game, the better.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.05.14 16:06:53 by Letgo Reply
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  • Maybe you should have changed the headline to who do you root for when the Sharks are playing.
    Lots of the pussies on this site who are nervous of a really piss poor stormers side who have not won one game away from home this year ,they were even beaten by Boland,against a team that comeback from Australasisa with three wins and a loosing bonus point.
    No contest Sharks will take 5 points on Saturday.The boys are really going to be up for this one.

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.05.14 16:32:45 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 15) : your mistaking caution for fear, but hopefully jake won’t be as arrogant as u right now (although he is well known for being arrogant when facing a “weak” team). Either you haven’t watch the turn around in the stormers play this year and u haven’t seen that a team whose had a mindset shift and has become, seemingly overnight sa’s most potent team as far as attack is concerned or your just plain blind. But to underestimate them and to judge them on their form prior to there return from their tour will be a huge mistake. This derby will be ours that I can guarantee you, but the men from the cape will be a handful that I can guarantee u as well.

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.05.14 17:45:26 by Stiko85 Reply

  • Now with all the speculation who wants to select this coming weekends Sharks team? man this is a very unknown week of choices, injuries are spoken of by HM yet denied by JW who has given the team a clean bill of health.

    I am going to go with JW here and put this as the starting line-up etc, I cannot see JW making wholesale changes as too much is riding on this match, also taking into account there is a rest period for most of the team because of the test window.

    So here goes.

    unchanged from last weekend accept for the loose trio

    Marcell’s return might mean a rest for Alberts with Kanko maybe starting at 8thman

    8 Alberts/Kanko
    7 Tera
    6 Coetzee

    Bench Botes and Daniel

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.05.14 18:58:46 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • If Steyn is indeed injured which I am doubting as he did not seem in pain as he did in the match against the Saders?

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.05.14 18:59:45 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • 15 SP Marais
    14 JPP
    13 Sbura
    12 Jordaan
    11 Mvovo
    10 Steyn/Swiel
    09 Reinach
    08 Alberts/Kanko
    07 Tera
    06 Marcell
    05 Lewies
    04 Oosthuizen
    03 Jannie
    02 Bismark
    01 Beast

    16 Cooper
    17 Chadwick
    18 Adriaanse
    19 Daniel/Botes
    20 Kanko
    21 Mcleod
    22 Williams
    23 Zeilinga

    take into account there are many unknown factors here, Odwa? Zeilinga? Bresler? etc

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.05.14 19:06:42 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • What if Alberts, Bissy, Steyn,and Sbura are injured?

    Backline and team could look very different…

    Alberts will of course be replaced by Marcell with Botes, Kanko or Daniel dropping out, this will mean a backup lock will have to be brought into the squad.

    Bismark will be replaced by Cooper with either Mondi or Franco Marais coming onto the bench.

    Odwa also being an unknown means if Sbura is out the likes of Jaco van Tonder coming onto the bench Heimer Williams would then start at 12 with Jordaan moving back to 13

    Steyn will see the biggest problem for the Sharks, but Swiel can only be judged on his last performance and on that he was very good, the backup however is totally unknown? what route would JW take here?

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.05.14 19:24:45 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • To answer the headline question:

    Anyone we`ve already beaten, except the bulls of course.

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.05.14 19:56:27 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 19) : think you’re correct with the team with Alberts and Steyn starting and Keegan on the bench.

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.05.14 19:57:15 by JD Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 14) : some how i really don’t see them making it. I think they will come close but can see them finishing top 6.

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.05.14 20:01:34 by JD Reply
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  • I do foresee a different ending with us playing the “nulle” in the final where we will get the opportunity to set a certain record straight. And just to ensure all things are in perspective for that game, we would like to nominate Steve Walsh, Lyndon Bray and Bryce Lawrence to be the match officials for the day and as we all know this is actually the main reason why Victor came back to captain his team…

    1 Cell C Sharks 56
    2 Waratahs 51
    3 Crusaders 49
    4 Chiefs 48
    5 Western Force 45
    6 Vodacom Bulls 45

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.05.14 00:55:26 by BluffShark Reply

  • Just realise for any possibility of us playing them in the finals they should end up 5th. So a new possible log:
    1 Cell C Sharks 56
    2 Waratahs 51
    3 Crusaders 49
    4 Chiefs 48
    5 Vodacom Bulls 45
    6 Western Force 44

    Quarter 1: Crusaders vs. Western Force
    Quarter 2: Chiefs vs. Vodacom Bulls
    Semi 1: Sharks vs. Crusaders
    Semi 2: Waratahs vs. Vodacom Bulls
    Final 1: Sharks vs. Bulls

    Then again, if this materialised, the bulls will blame very massive travelling for their hiding..

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.05.14 01:01:51 by BluffShark Reply

  • @BluffShark (Comment 25) : Actually in your case scenario the sharks would meet the bulls in the semi finals as the top of the log team plays the team that’s ranked lowest of the four teams so the 3rd place saders would meet the 2nd place tahs and the 1st place sharks would meet the 5th place bulls. If we wanted to meet them in the final they would have to end 4th and looking at the log, they would be lucky to just scrape into 6th place

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.05.14 07:16:38 by Stiko85 Reply

  • @fyndraai (Comment 13) : not if the 3rd rank team win as well, 1vs4 and [email protected]Letgo (Comment 14) : agree whole heartetly the sooner they’re out the better

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.05.14 07:47:41 by BR Reply
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  • @Stiko85 (Comment 26) : still if the 3rd place team win we face the bulls

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.05.14 07:48:30 by BR Reply
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  • @Stiko85 (Comment 16) : you just had too look at last week to know they are not a weak team just a good team hampered be injuries like we were last year, very nervous of this game

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.05.14 07:51:48 by BR Reply
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  • Answer too the heading chiefs 😡 and reds 😥

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.05.14 07:53:22 by BR Reply
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  • Sharks team exactly as I said it would be, just had the feeling the JW would keep everything exactly as was, accept bring back Marcell which meant Botes dropped out of the squad.

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.05.14 08:09:01 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • So all the injury talk was just that, TALK

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.05.14 08:10:47 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @BluffShark (Comment 24) : I expect the Bulls to end on 47. Their toughest game will be against the Stormers in Cape Town, but they should get bonus point wins against the Lions and Rebels.

  • Comment 33, posted at 29.05.14 08:40:57 by Bokhoring Reply
  • I know is prolly busy with the team thread, only change is Marcell in Botes who drops out of the squad.

  • Comment 34, posted at 29.05.14 08:45:25 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 34) : Interesting. Can I now safely assume Kanko is not doing it for Jake at 8 – seeing as he last started against the Brumbies, and got very little game time since?

  • Comment 35, posted at 29.05.14 09:00:37 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 34) : Sharks are killing me with these 6am team announcements 🙂

  • Comment 36, posted at 29.05.14 09:09:42 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : ag sorry Rob, but thanx for getting it up!!!!!!!

  • Comment 37, posted at 29.05.14 09:19:46 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : 😆 sorry boet, they need to take into account ur in the UK :mrgreen: 😆

  • Comment 38, posted at 29.05.14 10:03:06 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Stiko85 (Comment 16) : Never mistake confidence for arrogance.T o use your words it is the Sharks who overnight are seemingly the most potent attacking team in South Africa away from home or are you just plain blind.
    Stormers turned in a good performance against an abysmal Cheetahs team,but go back to the previous fixture betweeen these two in Bloem,which was after they came back from tour.
    Please don’t buy into all that hot air being produced by the Western Cape journalist,this is a rubbish Stormers team and has been since they lost their first pre season fixture against Boland.
    On the other hand this is an excellent Sharks team,which has proved that it can demolish any team any where even the Crusaders in their fortress with 14 men.
    So please explain to me why it is arrogant that I believe that we should and will smash this Stormers team

  • Comment 39, posted at 29.05.14 11:46:20 by The hound Reply
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    The hound

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