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Sharks – unknown entity or surprise package?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 2 Feb 2015 at 10:49
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

The water cooler talk this morning, it seems, mostly relates to the Bulls and just how well they performed in their weekend victory over Saracens. In trumping the strong North London club, Frans Ludeke’s men did what no other SA Super Rugby franchise has yet managed to do in pre-season; the Sharks and Stormers have both failed in the same objective in the recent past.

The Stormers won again, handing the Cheetahs their second successive loss (although the visitors did have the better of the second half) and along with the Bulls, the Cape side appear to be “riding high” on the pre-season log, talk of coach Allister Coetzee’s impending departure for Japan notwithstanding. Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske is already bemoaning a lack of tight five depth before the competition has yet begun and while the early indications are that his orange-clad side are again unlikely to feature amongst the finalists, it’s at the other end of the table that speculation continues to mount.

The Bulls and Stormers, based on pre-season form, are running pretty hot and their opening fixture, which sees them take on one another, should be a fascinating one and lay down a strong marker in the race for South African conference honours. Where the Sharks stand in this equation, though, we simply do not know and cannot tell based on their own, rather subdued, pre-season program.

I must say, I’m quite intrigued – but also excited – that the Sharks have opted not to “show their hand” in pre-season fixtures against the local boys. A closed practice game against two club sides will have revealed nothing and while Thursday’s game against Toulon will certainly give the wider world something to talk about, I’m not too sure how much we’ll be able to read in to the result of that fixture, given the difference in where the two teams are from a season perspective. For the visitors it will be, once again, the first competitive outfit under a new coaching staff so some hiccoughs are definitely to be expected.

All things told, there will be plenty of surprises in store, both for Sharks fans and for the opposition, during those first few weeks of Super Rugby action. We should probably expect a relatively slow start as the boys find one another, but hopefully not one that leaves the team too far off the pace by the time the first month of the competition draws to a close. As fans, we’re really just going to have to sit back and wait for the ride; hoping like hell that it’s going to be an enjoyable one.

Come on – it’s time for Sharks rugby again!


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