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Super Rugby 2015: Round 5


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 Mar 2015 at 15:37
Tagged with : ,

It’s week five and the desperate Sharks are now even more desperate than the desperatest thing we can imagine. Or something like that.

Cheetahs v Sharks (Saturday 17h05)

When these two sides met in round 1, the Cheetahs somehow managed to “out-Shark” the Sharks, who were themselves hell bent on trying to “out-Cheetah” their opposition. Brendan Venter’s rather astute – if somewhat too late to be useful – analysis was that the pressure of wanting to play entertaining rugby in front of their home crowd was one of the things that got to the Sharks. The same thing, he alleges, happened to all the other home teams that lost on that weekend of 6 away wins.

We’ll have a perfect opportunity this week to see the tables turned; just how much have the Sharks learned during the month since that game? Based on the unfortunate string of results, it would be fair to say they’ve picked up a few more “don’ts” than “do’s” but there’s an old saying that you learn more from failure than you do from success anyway!

Away from the Durban pressure-cooker and at a venue where, surprisingly, they’ve suffered far fewer Cheetahs “oopsies” than they have at home, the Sharks really need to show that they can take control of a game and do the basics right. With the team they’ve selected, they have all the right building blocks in place to ensure a comfortable win, but so far this season have looked a little short of cement. Perhaps moving to a somewhat simpler recipe – in the interests of getting a much-needed win (even if I’ve switched analogies in the process) – will prove more effective this week.

On paper, the Sharks pack is frightening. Then again, the same pack sucked the hind tit against these same Cheetahs a month ago. The names on paper need to translate those reputations into dominance on grass this week and I’m backing them to do just that. Scrums, lineout and breakdown will be where this game is won and the Sharks have selected the right men to ensure that dominance eventuates.

Cobus Reinach and Pat Lambie will relish the sort of stable platform they’ve not reliably had over the last fortnight and along with Frans Steyn and SP Marais will need to keep the game in the right parts of the field. The pack is the weapon, but the backs are the ones responsible for maximising the effectiveness of said artillery by ensuring it gets deployed in the right place.

Minimise the mistakes, cut out the over elaborate play (which shouldn’t be necessary against these foes) and the result is a good Sharks win, by around 8 points. The alternative is frankly just too ghastly to consider.

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Oupa Mohoje , 5 Francois Uys (capt), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Mienie
Subs: 16 BG Uys, 17 Stephan Coetzee, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Heinrich Brussow, 20 Steven Sykes, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Clayton Blommetjies

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 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 / Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Marco Wentzel / Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andre Esterhuizen, 23 Jack Wilson.

In other matches, it’s Hurricanes over Blues by 12, Force to beat Rebels by 5, Crusaders over Lions by 15, Waratahs to pip the Highlanders by a point or two, Brumbies to stuff the Reds by 15 and the Stormers to squeak a 3-point win against the Chiefs.



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