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Predicting the unknown


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 13 Feb 2015 at 15:45
Tagged with : , ,

So as you all know, this has been a little bit of a disjointed week for me, with a trip to the States playing havoc with my typical schedule of articles.

The fact that this week is Super Rugby week was a particular quirk of terrible timing, but it is what it is and we have to make do. In a lot of ways, though, it’s probably better that it was this particular week when I ended up without the time to do a proper Sharks match preview since, well, there’s really nothing much to preview at this stage.

I tried to take as much as I could from the Toulon performance, of course, but only a fool would really try to extrapolate that result too much when it comes to a game against the Cheetahs in a completely different setting. I’ve also not had the luxury of seeing any of Naka Drotske’s team’s warm up games, so apart from believing the media reports and writing them off based on what I see on paper, I’m very much going to have to eat this particular pudding to know how it tastes.

For the Sharks (and I think we should concentrate on what we’re going to do), it’s vital to expose the loss of experienced men in the Cheetahs pack. They have a decent back row, even without Lappies Labuschagne and Heinrich Bruusow, but have to do without some key guys up front and I’m pretty confident that the same sort of showing that the Sharks tights put in at Stade Mayol should result in some sort of win, at the very least. The really interesting part is going to be what happens further back and the sort of progress I’m hoping to see here is to gauge the extent to which the team has moved on from playing “Jake ball” as their only option.

Not to say that low risk rugby doesn’t have its place – I just don’t want it to be the only thing we do.

The centres and outside backs are, to me, the ones who have to step up and also the ones who, from a cheetahs perspective, probably have the best direct competition. It’s there that we’re hopefully going to see a glimpse of what our season prospects are likely to hold.

And, of course, I’ll know more after 80 minutes on Saturday. Until then, we hold thumbs and we believe.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Odwa Ndungane.

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Minnie.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 BG Uys, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Johannes Prinsloo, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Cornal Hendricks.



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