Rob Houwing, chief writer of Sport24
Cape Town – East
are the reasons why I believe sharks – something many would consider
in delay if so – COULD illuminate Super Rugby 2019:
Good chance of early traction
terms of the slog involved (about 13 500 km), starting his Super Rugby campaign
in Tokyo may not represent a dream state of affairs.
distance factor, and sharks can not have great reasons for
lament against the modest Sunwolves.
its potential against the side still considered most likely to be slaughtered if the
again at some point, and the men of Durban could
only running the SA conference after the first round – which would be
a little helpful development psychologically.
have to be very cautious of putting cart before horse, they probably have a better
chance to win a house full of log points against the traditionally working
Japanese clothing than any other team in the group (Bulls v Stormers and Jaguars
v Lions can both be nail-clippers).
mission is fulfilled, the Sharks return to successive home games
against the Blues – planning bigger things in 2019, apparently, but still
potentially the weakest team in New Zealand – and Stormers.
Three out of
three? Far from the impossible, and something that would be a startling threatening start.
that the sharks were menacingly behind the eight ball fairly quickly
season, when they lost to the Lions in Johannesburg on the opening weekend,
an unwanted goodbye from the second round, and then could only draw with the Waratahs on
Levels of physicality to eclipse more
could also be considered an area of weakness in certain respects (more
part two of this Sharks study!), but there can be little doubt that Robert
Du Preez snr's charges will inflict many bruises on his opponents.
It's in the
The DNA of sharks is intransigent and direct, and they have the staff – or
read: human demolition balls – to intimidate people again,
particularly on heavier surfaces or in any bad weather game.
trademark will begin in the front row, where the veteran Beast Mtawarira should be
in a deep quest to keep Steven Kitshoff at bay (ever more difficult?) for
the Springbok No 1 jersey, and again Coenie Oosthuizen and Thomas du Toit
are two of the most voluminous and most zealous ball bearing factors
and the back rows will hardly be without tonnage in the unit and in the great successes
terms, while just behind the engine room, the busy "ten and twelve"
channels will be policed by no-frills individuals like Robert du Preez Jr.,
Andre Esterhuizen and the second likely substitute center Marius Louw.
many holes in the middle, the Sharks will be waiting to tie
pleasant space for some totally fragile customers in wider berths
Increasingly established squadron
players during the seasons – but also few
could be considered genuinely top-line material.
they suffered nothing like the level of regression in this regard that has
occurred in the Lions, even if, when an increasingly peripheral Keegan Daniel
gave up last year, a yeoman, nippy loosie servant of the Durban cause since 2006
purchases from elsewhere? Close to zero, although the sharks are waiting
former Bulls beat Ruben van Heerden, still only 21 and snatched before the
2018 Currie Cup season, recovers its mojo after a quite standing development
kind of year. He's an iron man waiting.
overwhelming core of its existing troops remain, and the
the faithful home will see them gel more significantly than they
made up and down Super Rugby 2018.
between youth and "hardebaarde" is fantastic … at least on paper.
Some men on a furious mission
one of the best developments for sharks (eventually victorious) immediately
ahead of the Currie Cup final at Newlands last year was the revelation that prostitute
Akker van der Merwe and the twins Jean-Luc and Dan du
Preez had not made the cut for Springbok's end-of-year tour.
The Western Province players, however, were informed that they had broken the nod.
Result? Some of the union players seem a little distracted and
mode of preservation of the body in the showpiece, and the "Warthog Rage" and company,
in great contrast, producing bellicose presentations
influent in mild disorder.
low center of gravity, but eternally beavering Van der Merwe possibly will not have
also calmed down, since he is not guaranteed to be among the top three Bok
prostitutes for the year of the World Cup and therefore to prove a point in SANZAAR
Preez, regrettably, only joins the fight around the middle-of-the-road mark.
season due to injury, but his brother will start competition and anxious,
you would think of combining some of their known robust qualities with more nuances
to present a better all-round package this year and push it closer
the likes of Duane Vermeulen and Warren Whiteley in the Bok hierarchy
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