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Tough Super 600 draw for Sharks


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 29 Sep 2015 at 10:11
Tagged with : , , , ,

I’ve lost count of just how many teams will be competing in SANZAR’s Super Rugby bloatfest next year; the draw has been released (notwithstanding the fact that Japan don’t have a team yet) and about the only good news from a Sharks point of view is that we’ve escaped a fixture against the Mars GlobeTrotters this time around.

An opening encounter against the Kings in PE has “banana peel” written all over it for the men in black, particularly given that the Kings surprised all comers by winning their Super Rugby opener when they played in 2013. A home fixture against Argentina follows, before a nightmare local tour that sees away games against the Stormers and Bulls in successive weeks.

The structure is very convoluted, of course – let’s try to pick out some easily digestible highlights from a Sharks point of view:

- in our pool we have the Kings, the Lions and Argentina. That means we play each of those sides twice, both home and away.
- we play each side in the other “SA pool”, The Bulls, Stormers, Cheetahs and Japan, only once. Bulls and Stormers away, Cheetahs and Japan at home. That means no trip to Japan for the Sharks this year.
- we do not play against any Australian teams this year. Yeah, I know….
- we play each of the five New Zealand teams once (unsurprisingly, three of the five games are away)
- the thing that I still can’t quite wrap my head around is how we’ve been “sold” on this new format on the basis of less travel. The Sharks now face a three-week tour to New Zealand (playing the Highlanders, Blues and Chiefs), before returning to Durban for one game (against the Hurricanes) and then immediately leaving to play Argentina in South America. That’s a far tougher schedule than a straight four-week Antipodean trip.

Here is the team’s full schedule:

Saturday 27 February Kings v Sharks
Saturday 5 March Sharks v Argentina
Saturday 12 March Stormers v Sharks
Friday 18 March Bulls v Sharks
Saturday 26 March Sharks v Crusaders
BYE
Saturday 9 April Sharks v Lions
Saturday 16 April Blues v Sharks
Friday 22 April Highlanders v Sharks
Friday 29 April Chiefs v Sharks
Saturday 7 May Sharks v Hurricanes
Saturday 14 May Argentina v Sharks
Saturday 21 May Sharks v Kings
BYE
Saturday 2 July Lions v Sharks
Saturday 9 July Sharks v Cheetahs
Friday 15 July Sharks v Japan



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