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A good weekend for the Sharks, all in all


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 3 Mar 2014 at 11:11
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Even without SANZAR’s gimme points for not playing, the Sharks came through this weekend’s bye pretty well and are still on top of the South African conference log.

The Bulls did the Durban team a favour by knocking over the Lions – and keeping them out of bonus point territory – meaning the Sharks retain a 1-point lead on the log over their Johannesburg rivals, now with a game in hand. The Bulls, Cheetahs and Stormers are all at least a win behind on the log at this early stage, with only the last-named on the same number played as the leaders. A good opportunity, in other words, for the Sharks to capitalise and consolidate their position at the summit of the local log by beating the Lions this weekend.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Waratahs, whom the Sharks play in around a month’s time, loom large as the early tournament favourites, having picked up a maximum haul of 10 points from their opening fixtures. With their big win over the Reds this weekend, they shot to the top of the table, knocking the Sharks into second place overall. The Rebels made a statement, though, with a perfect haul from their only match to date and are one of only four teams yet to taste defeat after just three rounds of this year’s competition.

The Chiefs’ strange inability to pick up a bonus point in either of their two derbies to date sees them lying third, on eight points from two games, but nevertheless well placed to lead the New Zealand challenge in this year’s competition (once again) as the only unbeaten side from that conference after the opening fortnight.

The Sharks don’t play the Chiefs in round-robin action this year, but that 29 March clash against the Waratahs in Durban is already starting to loom very large on the upcoming fixtures list as the one the Sharks will need to target for their best performance of the early season. Jake White and his coaching team, though, won’t be looking any further than the Lions game this weekend (and rightly so), with the Sharks needing all five points to make a statement ahead of tougher games to follow.



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