S15 preview - Sharks v Hurricanes

2014-02-24 12:06
Sharks logo (File)
The first inter-continent clash has a David and Goliath feel to it. Not that I’m a full-blooded Sharks supporter or writing off the Hurricanes. I’m just trying to be realistic here. Truth be told, the Canes couldn’t have gotten tougher opponents on South African soil had they come begging.

By no means were they flawless, but Jake White and his troops made their intentions quite clear as they trampled the Bulls for full points on the log. Their aim is to win the war and they’re not taking prisoners.
Lwazi Mvovo

Lwazi Mvovo

For years we’ve been told that Pat Lambie is the best thing since sliced bread and finally, with proper management, it seems that statement might actually start to carry come weight. The baby-faced pivot wouldn’t have been happy with his goal kicking success rate, but everything else about him made the heart beat a little bit faster. Could this be the season in which the debate over Mornè Steyn’s successor is settled?

Conditions last weekend didn’t exactly make for entertaining viewing, but the Sharks still managed to score four tries. Yes, one was later publicly ruled as a mistake – water under the bridge, I say. The fact is they kept their composure, played the situation at hand and took their chances. Those are the makings of a great team.

Cobus Reinach dictated proceedings with the aptitude of seasoned campaigner, his selection ahead of Charl McLeod a no-brainer, whilst Paul Jordaan provided more than enough excitement with his lightning speed. On the outside Lwazi Mvovo looks to be hungry for the try-line and he definitely has the pace and finishing skills to keep the opposition on their toes.

Conceding 76 points in two matches doesn’t exactly make for good trial reading even though they managed to edge the Blues before being thrashed by the Crusaders. The have an awe-inspiring attack when given enough room, but the forwards will struggle against the Durban Dozers. I have oodles of admiration for Beauden Barrett and regard him as one of the most exciting flyhalves in the world, but I seriously doubt he’ll get the quality ball required to make a difference.
Marty Banks

Marty Banks

Players like Conrad Smith and Julian Savea are consistently threatening, but won’t get very far if the Sharks have sharpened their defense. It will be very interesting to see the impact Cory Jane has after recovering from a long term injury and all eyes will be on Tasmanian Marty Banks who got the nod ahead of André Taylor

Despite having eleven international (including two Samoans – Lam and Levave) in their starting line-up, I can’t see them overpowering or outsmarting the home boys. So far the Sharks have lived up to the hype without going full throttle, and I have a feeling that the flood gates might open on Saturday night. If there were additional points on offer for more than four tries, the Sharks would’ve been poised to cash in.

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