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Time for predictions – Sharks, Stormers, Waratahs


Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Original Content, Other SA Teams, Sharks, Super Rugby on 19 Apr 2012 at 08:13

Segment four of our time for predictions articles.

Have a look at the  spreadsheet that I am using to compress all the results, fixtures and predictions for this year into one page, I also saved it in a PDF. The spreadsheet is meant to work like a graph. Each team is listed on the left, top to bottom. Rows represents the teams and columns represent “played against”. The “example” will give you a clear idea of how to read the spreadsheet. You can also go to segment 1, Time for predictions – Blues, Brumbies, Bulls for a more complete explanation.

So lets have a look at three more teams:

Sharks 7th

Honestly the Sharks have been very disappointing so far this season. And can I tell you why they have been disappointing? They have been disappointing because they are showing promise and innovation in the backs and have lost three of their games with less than 5 points when they could have won any of those and boasted 12 more points and as a result been at the top of the log right now. It’s disappointing because after three games, Riaan Viljoen was sitting at the press conferences mentioning these things as positives and I couldn’t help but see him in his orange jersey hopeful for the next game. I know. Spit. I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. Promise and almost doesn’t mean anything, our defense is weak and our protection of our ball appalling. We’re on the edge of falling into the abyss of the minnow where almost is good and could have beens is comfort and potential is hope and hope is pleasing? This team needs to turn things around by not accepting the mediocre.

The Sharks still have six home games and two byes. This translates to 32 log points and this does place them in the run for the top six. If they could win in their away games against the Lions and the Cheetahs which is certainly very doable, 40 points later and bonus points to boot the Sharks could be sitting on 62 points and they should not be aiming for any less. Any less and the wheels comes off. To be fair even if they do drop one or maybe two games they would still be in the running for the top six but most probably won’t make it into the top four or the final and no team should be happy with a result like that.

Teams they still have to play:

Chiefs, Highlanders, Force, Cheetahs, Stormers, Lions, Bulls, Cheetahs and they have two more byes.

The Stormers and Bulls games at Kings Park will be their toughest challenge but should they pull these off and continue their homeground dominance, it’s only the Lions and Cheetahs who stand in the way of a home semi-final. 62 points place them 4th on the log behind the third placed Australian team.

Stormers 2nd

What a great season the Stormers are enjoying. Going unbeaten for seven weeks before faltering on tour against the Crusaders last week. The really surprising thing about this team in 2012 has been their forwards – they have dominated and crushed every team that came in their way. It hasn’t been pretty but has proven very effective. This and their defense, not just solid but in your face and powerful, has been one of their best used attacking weapons. I can’t see them losing too many games this season, but the fact that they have a few away games coming up could possibly produce a few losses.

Like the Chiefs they only need to win about half of their nine remaining games to stay in contention for the top six. They will be hoping to stay at the top though and to do that they will need to continue winning and drop no less than two or three games at the most. Fortunately for them games against the Cheetahs (Home & Away), Lions, Force, Rebels and even the Waratahs will make this task much easier. That’s six out of nine and if they could manage one more victory against the Bulls, Reds or Sharks, they would most certainly be a contender for top of the log and most probably end top of the South African conference.

Teams they still have to play:

Reds, Force, Cheetahs, Waratahs, Sharks, Bulls, Lions, Cheetahs, Rebels and they have one more bye.

I’ve put them down for a loss against the Reds next weekend just because the Reds did the same thing to them in 2010 when they toured and were in about the same situation as they are now. The Stormers have also lost a couple of key players to injuries. The Sharks could possibly take them at home but the Stormers will nevertheless end with 62 points and second on the log.

Waratahs 10th

Another team that has been disappointing with no real good reason. They have only three victories under their belt and only the one against the Sharks could possibly seen as a victory as far as improvement goes. The Waratahs have lost their punch in the tight phases. They used to thrive on slowing down opposition ball and turning over possession. Their defense has also weakened and they’ve let in way too many soft tries. They have looked a little unmotivated at times.

Like most of the other teams they too have a few local derbies coming up but unfortunately I don’t think even that will help. The Force has already beaten them and this weekend they only just got past them in their second encounter and this is the Aussie walk-overs. It looks grim for the Waratahs. That being said they have banked 21 points no matter how uninspired and unmotivated it seemed. Those points still put them in the running for the top six though and the ‘Tahs have 40 regular log points to play for. That’s more than enough and all they need to do now is string together some wins.

Teams they still have to play:

Rebels, Crusaders, Brumbies, Bulls, Stormers, Cheetahs, Hurricanes, Brumbies, Reds

That being said teams don’t start winning because winning can still take them to the top and no matter how you look at it, the Waratahs have been average. With four more wins the Waratahs will end on 41 and 10th on the log.

Things change so quickly though and next week I may have changed my mind again. You can now use the spreadsheet to change the results where you think I’m wrong and see how it affects your final log.



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