robdylan

Super Rugby 2015: Round 13


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 May 2015 at 12:22
Tagged with : , , ,

They say the number 13 is lucky for some, but the question for Sharks fans is whether we’ll finally see a bit of luck go the way of our team in what is arguably their toughest challenge to date in a so-far very challenging season.

Hurricanes v Sharks (Saturday 09h35)

Let’s see – we can do this the easy or the hard way. The easy way is, well, easy. The Hurricanes are top of the combined log, with nine wins from 10 starts. The Sharks have played 11 games, winning only four of them. What’s more, they have already conceded an aggregate 100 points to two Kiwi teams lower on the log than these Hurricanes, with their most recent result a 48-15 thrashing in Dunedin a week ago.

Add to that the fact that they’re now down to arguably their third halfback pairing (with both players starting for the first time in this competition) and all the signs point to a very big win indeed for the Hurricanes.

That would be that, if it weren’t for a few factors working against the easy prediction. The Canes themselves are weaker this week too, and also come into the game without the halfback pairing that has been their mainstay so far this season. Beauden Barrett is out injured, and TJ Perenara rested, as is danger man Julian Savea; while the Canes still boast a back division capable of tearing the Sharks to shreds, one has to argue that with three such big names missing, they do look just that bit less formidable this week.

On the flip side, the Sharks arguably boast a better backline this week. Frans Steyn will add some defensive steel at 12 after the Andre Esterhuizen horror show of the last few weeks, while Lwazi Mvovo is sure to offer more of an attacking threat at fullback. Lionel Cronje is an unknown entity at flyhalf, but should look to attack more with ball in hand, while Stefan Ungerer is an exciting young player whose time seems to have come at last. Some reason for just a little positivity, even if the odds remain heavily stacked.

It’s up front where the hope lies, of course and the Sharks do boast the sort of pack that you’d expect would have the upper hand. Pace in the loose trio is a concern and Etienne Oosthuizen will need to tighten up on defence, but if the side opts to play the right way they could hopefully starve the Hurricanes of the ball they’ll need to do much damage. When the Sharks managed to keep things tight against the Highlanders, they looked better, but protection of the ball is key since a lone Sharks ball carrier conceding a turnover was far too common a sight last week.

Hope springs eternal and with a clever approach that involves keeping the ball and grinding away for 80 minutes, the Sharks could shock here. I’m unfortunately not brave enough to back them to actually win, but I don’t think it will be as bad as last week. Hurricanes to win by 6 points.

Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Matt Proctor, 10 James Marshall, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Motu Matu’u, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 Reggie Goodes, 19 Callum Gibbins, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Frae Wilson, 22 Otere Black, 23 Rey Lee-Lo.

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (Captain), 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Kyle Cooper, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Waylon Murray.

In other games:

The Crusaders will beat the Reds by 15.
The Rebels will beat the Blues by 7.
The Waratahs will take the Force by 3 in a scrappy game.
The Lions will pip the Highlanders by 1 in a very high-scoring game.
The Stormers will bounce back and record a 5-point win over the Brumbies.


48 Comments

  • Sharks by 3

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.05.15 12:54:21 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 1) : Sharks by 10! 🙂

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.05.15 12:58:41 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 2) : sure I was being optimistic there 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.05.15 13:02:12 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • Mostly agree but I think lions to win by more than 5. WP to lose by 3-5

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.05.15 13:18:33 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • Sharks to win by 3. Loyal but not insane.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.05.15 13:19:35 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • *sigh* no matter what the heart wishes for: Canes by 9…

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.05.15 13:23:30 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Thomas started out at tighthead didn’t he? It would be great to keep developing his tighthead skills. Imagine the versatility. Also try getting Chadwick in on tighthead. He needs to do some more strength training though maybe the same as pro powerlifters do.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.05.15 13:25:26 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • sharks to lose by 20. i predict another brain fart from someone

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.05.15 13:26:07 by Poisy Reply
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    Poisy
     
  • I am practicing the positive thinking Gary asked for. He gave some so I will give some…quid pro quo..Sharks to win…either way I will be glad just to see improvement…

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.05.15 13:29:36 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • Nonu, Smith, Jane – still a lot of firepower in that back line. Our centres are going to have to be on the ball on defense.

    Plum has also managed to coach the forwards into a tight knit unit.

    If the Sharks can keep the losing margin below 15, I reckon they are doing well given the state this team is in.

    We should focus on taking the ball up the middle offloading to keep it alive – like we managed to do for short periods against the Highlanders.

    All kicks should have some thinking behind them with a specific aim – i.e. to regather the ball, or make the defenders turn around. Kicking according to formula against a Kiwi team will only result in you spending a lot of time under the goal posts.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.05.15 13:33:14 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • canes
    saders
    rebels
    tahs
    highlanders by 15+ (sorry but its true)
    stormers

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.05.15 13:59:16 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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    West Indies Cricket Board
     
  • I say the kicking should have only one purpose to turn them around. Our handling skill na bit doubtful and do we have the line speed for regather also the have very reflexive players that will beat us 8 out of 10 on that score. Turn them constantly and ensure they have to re establish a line and not have time to straighten as much as they want. Then capitalize on that we have some big strong runners that can force turnover in one on one situations.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.05.15 14:06:18 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • Oh and completely off topic. John…buy burger Odendaal…I think he wil get tired living in serfontein ‘ s shadow.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.05.15 14:13:12 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • I cannot see the Sharks winning unless the Canes implode. What I would like to see is a better and more passionate defensive effort and some form of co-ordinated game plan on attack-especially the backs. If we kick everything and only back our maul i fear for the scoreline

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.05.15 14:16:53 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonK
     
  • Ja it might be good for us not to depend on that crutch (maul) anymore.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.05.15 14:19:30 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • Also not focus everything on defense again. Best defense is a consistent and competent offensive.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.05.15 14:24:24 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • Seeing Steyn vs Nonu should be real interesting. Two big guys running at each other. I’d put money on at least one late Nonu shoulder charge. Steyn will then get a yelllow, seeing as that is how our season is going at the moment.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.05.15 14:43:51 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • @Dragnipur (Comment 17) : Who is the referee?

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.05.15 15:01:32 by The hound Reply
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    The hound
     
  • @The hound (Comment 18) : chris pollock

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.05.15 15:09:12 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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    West Indies Cricket Board
     
  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 11) :

    i love you ! marry me ? <3

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.05.15 16:06:04 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 20) : lol no hard feelings. Aaron Smith gonna be too much for my 2nd fave team

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.05.15 16:41:01 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 7) : Go have a look at Thomas’ twitter feed. You may be quite pleased with what you find there.

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.05.15 18:55:08 by vanmartin Reply
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    vanmartin
     
  • …just imagine the Sharks pull off a win here…

    Plum’s worst nightmare 😈

    I don’t think the Sharks have ever been as completely written off as they are for this game(bar maybe the short lived Putt era).

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.05.15 20:02:39 by FireTheLooser Reply

     
  • Hurricanes by 25 is my guess. 🙁

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.05.15 21:18:54 by Ben Reply
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    Ben
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 23) : Short lived????? Putt was head coach for 4 years, only one year shorter than Plum. Dick Muirs’s tenure as Sharks head coach was short lived, he replaced Putt midway through 2006, took the Sharks to the final in 2007, then Plum took over as CC coach, and head coach in 2008. Jake White, now that was short lived.

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.05.15 22:52:03 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 25) : 😳 I’ll admit, what happened in rugby between 2002 and 2006 I’m clueless about…so I always thought Putt’s glory was limited to one year. 🙂

  • Comment 26, posted at 08.05.15 07:10:06 by FireTheLooser Reply

     
  • I had a look at u his twitter feed. He will be playing tighthead again. I just hope they keep him at tighthead for a few games or even perm. Thomas is very passionate about the sharks and gives his all you can see it on his face when he feels he didn’t. That’s the guy I want to replace Jannie

  • Comment 27, posted at 08.05.15 08:04:18 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusion
     
  • I just hope that we will have a much better performance this week. I’m realistic about the result thou, and I’m sure the Canes will take it. But what I want is signs of promise… for the future that is.

    The best thing for this team would be to forget about what has happened so far in the season. Control the things that they can and not to focus on those they can’t. I really hope we gonna have a lot of youngsters putting up their hands.

    Just out of interest, I’m sure this has been discussed or mentioned before, but do we have an idea of what the Sharks would look like next year? With so many players leaving I would be keen to see who will replace them. And should we really have those who we know to depart still afford a lot of game time. Ideally those earmarked to replace them or at least somewhere in the pecking order should get more time?

    Anyway, good luck boys!

  • Comment 28, posted at 08.05.15 08:35:24 by Farlington Reply

    Farlington
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 23) : Ive got the Sharks to win this game, and you?

    An even worse nightmare will be had by Smit if Plums team wins.

    Either way some serious gloating rights are up for grabs.

  • Comment 29, posted at 08.05.15 09:00:28 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • It would be awesome to say the least if the Sharks win. My gut says that probably won’t happen. So if they keep the Hurricanes to a narrow win I’ll be happy. Somewhere deep down something is telling me not to write the Sharks off though!

  • Comment 30, posted at 08.05.15 12:37:14 by Den Reply

    Den
     
  • @Farlington (Comment 28) : my feeling is we are going to see a lot of movement. Expect the announcements to start coming once the Super Rugby season has run its course.

  • Comment 31, posted at 08.05.15 12:41:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • FULL TIME

    WESTERN FORCE 18 – 11 WARATAHS

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.05.15 13:26:18 by Ben Reply
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  • Lions being skinned by Highlanders. 20-3 at halftime

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.05.15 15:48:50 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Cronje is worse than Hoffmann

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.05.15 16:01:12 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • These are the Lions we know.

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.05.15 16:10:28 by Feather Reply

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  • Lions a different team with De Klerk and Jantjies

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.05.15 16:18:53 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Lions fighting back well. 23-22 with conversion to come.

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.05.15 16:25:29 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • We need to buy Vorster from the Lions. Incredible young player

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.05.15 16:27:29 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Lions playing the game at incredible pace.

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.05.15 16:32:08 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Lions lineout letting them down

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.05.15 16:33:13 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Li9ns lead 25-23

  • Comment 41, posted at 09.05.15 16:35:16 by Bokhoring Reply
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    Bokhoring
     
  • Lions take the lead with 10 minutes left.

  • Comment 42, posted at 09.05.15 16:35:35 by Ben Reply
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  • Excellent game to watch. Both teams giving the ball air

  • Comment 43, posted at 09.05.15 16:38:53 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • FULL TIME

    LIONS 28 – 23 HIGHLANDERS

  • Comment 44, posted at 09.05.15 16:46:38 by Ben Reply
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  • Nice to dee South Africans beating New Zealanders at rugby. I only wish the Sharks knew how to do it too.

  • Comment 45, posted at 09.05.15 16:49:03 by Feather Reply

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  • Lions motto should be “Fortune favors the brave”. No kick and hope rugby.

  • Comment 46, posted at 09.05.15 16:54:11 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 46) : And “pray Faf and Elton never get injured”

  • Comment 47, posted at 09.05.15 16:56:48 by Ben Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 46) : It didn’t come over night for the Lions…they started playing that way when Mitch was coach – how many years later and it is now finally paying off.

  • Comment 48, posted at 09.05.15 17:10:11 by FireTheLooser Reply

     

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