Sharks 'SA's best S15 hope'

2012-01-16 11:08
John Plumtree (Gallo Images)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - The Sharks, rather than last year’s best-performing South African franchise the Stormers, represent South Africa’s best chance of success in the 2012 Super Rugby season.

That is according to the latest (February) edition of Sports Illustrated magazine, which is heavily themed toward the southern hemisphere competition starting next month.

SI has the Sharks finishing second on the overall log behind the Crusaders, last season’s runners-up and the top side in the Super Rugby history, and thus winning the SA conference.

It tips the Stormers, last year’s domestic conference winners and eventually beaten semi-finalists, to end fifth overall and as conference runners-up, thus qualifying again for the playoffs as the only other South African team to do so.

According to the magazine, the rebuilding Bulls will end seventh, just outside the playoffs, cash-strapped Currie Cup champions the Lions 11th and the Cheetahs 12th.

“The Sharks have all the personnel, skills and smarts a team could wish for. Now they just need the belief,” SI said.

It cited favourable aspects for the Sharks like the fact that they don’t meet the Crusaders on the pre-playoff calendar this season, and will play defending champions the Reds at home.

In slightly downgrading the Stormers this year, the magazine said: “They have the goods to take top (conference) spot if they fire on all cylinders, but when they backfire, they do so spectacularly.”

On a broader level, as the tournament faces a record-length year marked by a three-week break for Test rugby, it quoted SARU chief executive Jurie Roux as admitting that the schedule was “challenging not only from a player point of view but also because we have the incoming English tour in the middle of the Super Rugby competition which makes selling both quite tricky”.

He added: “It’s certainly easier to handle the promotion of one tournament at a time. The Test window will put added pressure on the new Bok coach because he’ll have hardly any time to work with the players before the first England Test.”

Read more on:    super 15

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

The Springboks' year of woe and misery came to a predictable end with defeat against Wales in Cardiff. What should happen next?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.