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Team Points
Premier Division
Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 3 24
Cell C Sharks 10 4 22
Steval Pumas 10 3 17
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ORC Griquas 10 1 8
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Sharks in the pound seats


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Cheetahs, Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks, WP on 27 Sep 2011 at 10:06
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

While I realise that most Sharks fans are quite happy wallowing in the doom and gloom of yet another poor performance against substandard opposition (notwithstanding the 5 log points gained), I feel duty-bound to point out the, shall we say, “interesting” developments that have unfolded on the log this weekend.

Simply put, as a consequence of the losses suffered by both Western Province and the Lions, the Sharks have found themselves in second position after the weekend. In short, a home semi-final is now completely within their grasp, so long as they can keep winning.

Even better news, though, is this… the Lions’ stumble against the Bulls has brought them back within striking distance at the top of the log too and although the permutations are far too tricky to contemplate at this stage, it nevertheless remains quite likely that the Sharks could end up playing the Lions for top spot when the latter side comes to Durban in three weeks time.

As Richard has already reported, the Blue Bulls appear to have done enough to get themselves back into the reckoning and with an away fixture against Griquas their only real remaining hurdle, they should be a pretty good pick to grab one of the away semi positions. The Cheetahs are in a similar position, with two easier-seeming games to come after they face the Lions this weekend and it’s the men from Bloemfontein that now surely pose the greatest threat to both the Sharks and the Lions. Simply put, only the Lions can now stop the Cheetahs from surging into home semi-final territory when the two play in Bloem this weekend and from a Sharks perspective, that match can only have a good result.

Assuming the Lions win, then the Cheetahs fall further behind the Sharks (assuming, of course, a home win against Western Province, which must be non-negotiable anyway) and will in that case all-but-certainly cede second place to the men from Durban. Should the Cheetahs win, though, it leaves the Lions needing wins from both of their remaining fixtures, against Western Province and the Sharks, in order to cling to top spot. They could, in fact, fall as far as third if they lose to both the Cheetahs and the Sharks.

Province, as already mentioned, have a real mountain to climb too, with two tough away games in their future and a horrible injury list that has already contributed to no points from their last two starts.

Permutations aplenty, that’s for sure, but for the Sharks, a win against Province this weekend followed by a five-point haul against the Leopards the week afterwards should see them in a good position to challenge for a home semi-final – and possibly a home final too – when the Lions come to Kings Park in three weeks time. Now if that doesn’t make the fans feel a bit better, I’m not sure what will.



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