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Team Points
Premier Division
Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 3 24
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Super Rugby 2015: Round 18

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 11 Jun 2015 at 16:43
Tagged with : , ,

Finally – for the Sharks at least – this nightmare comes to an end!

Well, perhaps I’m being a little melodramatic, but there’s plenty of room for introspection as we head into the last ever game of Super Rugby for our team under the current format. Perhaps more importantly, though, the game marks the departure of a number of stalwart players.

Sharks v Stormers (Saturday 19h10)

Well, one feels as though a bit of the sting has gone out of this encounter, with the Stormers (who seem to have conceded second place) opting to send an untried and rather “B-ish” team to Durban to take on a strong Sharks outfit. Fans of the black and white will not forget how a last-minute Jaco Taute drop-goal consigned the high-flying Sharks to a crushing defeat against a similarly under strength Stormers side this time last year, with that defeat ultimately costing the Sharks a top-tow finish. The players, I’m sure, won’t have forgotten it either and will want a measure of revenge.

The Sharks are coming off a bye, of course, so will be rusty, just as the Stormers will lack fluidity in the early exchanges due to new combinations coming together. This is unlikely to be a classic, but the emotion of the final game for Bismarck, Jannie and Willem Alberts (not to mention Fred Zeilinga) should give the Sharks the lift they need, especially against a Stormers team light on experience.

The Sharks will win this game with room to spare, by around 10 points.

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (capt), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Giant Mtayanda, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Heimar Williams

Stormers: 15 Robert du Preez, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr (captain), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alister Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Seabelo Senatla, 23 Kobus van Wyk.

In other games, here’s what I see happening:

Blues to lose to Highlanders by 8.
Rebels to beat Force by 5.
Brumbies to go down to the Crusaders by just a couple.
Chiefs to edge the Canes by 3.
Waratahs to beat the Reds by 12.
Bulls to hand the Cheetahs a 15-point defeat.


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