All eyes on Wellington, Sydney

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 25 Jun 2014 at 11:39
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , ,

Results in Super Rugby this weekend – with New Zealand and Australian teams involved in derbies that could prove decisive while the Cell C Sharks look on – are set to shape the selection decisions made by the latter’s head coach, Jake White. White, whose team’s tenuous hold on top spot on the overall standings looks unlikely to last the weekend, needs to pick a strategy ahead of the last two round robin games against the Cheetahs and the Stormers.

With a tiring squad (more than half of his first-choice 23 being with the Boks) and hopes of a home semi-final fading fast, White again dropped a very clear hint today that he may look to box clever over the coming weeks and save his big guns for a knock-out series that is likely to finish away from home. Having already secured the South African conference title, the Sharks can finish no lower than third and could even go so far as to “throw” their last two games without it having a material impact on their final finishing position.

That is assuming, of course, that both the Crusaders and the Waratahs overtake them this weekend and that neither slips up in the final fortnight – itself a big gamble. Assuming wins over the Hurricanes and Brumbies respectively in round 17, a loss for either side in the matches to follow could open the door again for the Sharks to sneak a top-two finish and White would kick himself if he failed to capitalise on that chance by sending a significantly weakened team to either Bloemfontein or Cape Town.

Talking to the Sharks website, White indicated that “the Boks can have a rest, if we box clever we can let the Springboks have a little time away, so we could be in a really good space come play-off time.” That’s a pretty clear indication that he’s not rating the chances of a top two finish as particularly likely and with Beast Mtawarira and possibly Willem Alberts already in doubt for the games to come, White will need to make a few changes at the very least.

Pat Lambie and Anton Bresler are two previously injured players who will come back into the reckoning and it will be interesting to see whether White entrusts the former with the captaincy at some stage, letting Bismarck du Plessis enjoy a well-earned breather.


  • Well I guess the silver lining here is that Jake will know whether the Sharks are still in with a chance of a top two finish before having to make a call on the composition of his teams to face the Cheetahs and Stormers?

    Edit: Duh.. of course it’s not that simple. Apologies, I shouldn’t be posting while on flu meds πŸ™‚

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.06.14 11:46:39 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I’m keen to see what Lambie can do as a captain. He’s got a very cool and mature head on his shoulders.

    It’ll be hard to see the ‘Tahs and ‘Saders losing games, but the disruption caused by the break might just work in our favour.

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.06.14 12:09:09 by StevieS Reply
  • Sad, we should never have been in the position where other matches determine our future.

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.06.14 13:04:48 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • If only we scored a few bonus points for 4 or more tries we couldve been in a better position but alas kicking penalties hands you a home semi 😈 πŸ™„

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.06.14 15:09:19 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Going to be interesting to see what happens.

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.06.14 16:09:39 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • I am still disgusted that the Sharks lost to Stormers “B” at home… πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.06.14 23:42:04 by Feather Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Feather (Comment 6) : it was after a long and hard tour in any case shit happens.

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.06.14 23:58:37 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • en weer eens dankie vir jou vertalingsdienste, Buchies πŸ™‚

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.06.14 08:42:45 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Not even Jake White knew he could speak Afrikaans that well πŸ˜†

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.06.14 08:56:59 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • In a weird way I feel like it could be the best thing for the Sharks if Saders and Tahs win their matches this weekend.

    It will give Jake the peace of mind to build some more depth and put in the fringe players before the playoffs, as well as give our 1st choice players a well earned rest. Approach the remainder of the SR as 2 warmup games followed by 3 knock out games.

    The Tahs and Saders have not yet guaranteed their top spot in their respective conferences and won’t have the same luxury of resting their top players.

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.06.14 09:13:29 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Feather (Comment 6) : I agree,clearly the winning mentality still lacking but the choke factor still exists,the Bullarinas of old or Crusaders would never ever have lost such a game

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.06.14 10:04:53 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @benji (Comment 11) : Like the Saders losing at home against 13 men? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.06.14 10:15:52 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @gregkaos (Comment 12) : that’s right,these teams only lose against better teams on the day,they never ever lose against equil or worse teams nor choke ever

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.06.14 11:21:06 by benji Reply
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