News24

Sharks arrive late in Brisbane

2012-07-18 11:25

Gold Coast - The Sharks have arrived in Australia for the Super Rugby playoffs a lot later than planned and in a city they didn't expect to be playing in until some surprising results last weekend.

The Durban-based team will play the defending champion Reds on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs in Brisbane. That will give the Sharks nearly five days to overcome their marathon trip from South Africa - a two-hour delay in Johannesburg and a missed connection from Sydney forced the team to split in two for flights north on Monday.

Coach John Plumtree had expected the Sharks to be playing in Canberra against the Brumbies, who had a five-point lead over the Reds for first place in the Australian Conference going into the final round.

But the Reds' bonus-point victory over the Waratahs coupled with the Brumbies' surprise 30-16 loss to the Blues left the Reds in first place and one of four teams contesting the first round.

The Sharks provided some drama of their own in the final round, coming back from 15-6 down at half-time to beat the Cheetahs 34-15 and secure the bonus-point win they needed to take sixth spot.

"We thought we might be going to Canberra but it all unfolded in the last weekend - it was amazing," Plumtree said.

The lengthy trip meant the Sharks were unaware until they arrived in Australia that Reds playmaker Quade Cooper had received a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Waratahs centre Berrick Barnes.

The Reds said on Wednesday they were "seriously considering" appealing.

"I didn't even know about it because we were in the air straight after the game," Plumtree said. "It is big news for them. But they have faith in their back-up (Ben Lucas) so I am sure it won't make too much of a difference. We have just been focusing on getting over our trip and on what we are going to do."

The Sharks have won six of their past seven matches - all in South Africa - while the Reds, with Cooper back in the line-up after a near eight-month layoff due to knee surgery, have won six in a row.

The Reds lost 27-22 loss to the Sharks in the fourth round at Durban after leading 17-0; a defeat that started an early-season slump.

The Sharks have their own personnel concerns.

Flyhalf Patrick Lambie aggravated an ankle injury during the Sharks' win over the Cheetahs, while Frans Steyn is ineligible for the playoffs because he was signed by the Sharks after the April 1 transfer deadline.

Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit also has an ankle injury and was omitted from the 24-man squad named by the Sharks on Sunday. Lock Steven Sykes and prop Tendai Mtawarira have both been passed fit after missing the match against the Cheetahs.

Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis, affected by a knee injury, is expected to start after coming off the bench against the Cheetahs.

SAPA

Comments
  • dave.short.102 - 2012-07-18 11:37

    Go Sharks. Bulls Groete!!!

      dave.short.102 - 2012-07-18 12:45

      Isak jou klont dis nie my pel nie.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-18 13:38

      love u too dave

      dave.short.102 - 2012-07-18 14:32

      Dankie Isak, Klont kop, jou vrou nog nie werk vir jou nie. Tom jou poefter!!!

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-18 21:14

      Vissie i see you starting with name calling again... Your wife mistreating you chap???

  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-07-18 11:38

    I'll be supporting both Bulls and Sharks for their games, but me thinks homeground advantage will win this one. Reds by 4 Crusaders by 14 Unfortunately

      papastorm.joulekeding - 2012-07-18 11:53

      i think the sharks will take it

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-07-18 11:57

      The sharks have the better chance for their semi, I think. But our two teams are playing the finalists from last years final, and on their home ground. I think it's a tall order.

      dave.short.102 - 2012-07-18 12:01

      I have to agree with Charles, its sad but lets face facts!! The bulls will probably get stuck- saders by 9. Sharks I think has a better shot, win by 4!!! Bulls groete!!!

      dewald.botha.50 - 2012-07-18 13:46

      Klink omtrent reg vir my!

  • craig.tyson.146 - 2012-07-18 11:50

    Must say, i'll be very suprised if either the sharks or bulls win, but hey, anything can happen in 80min. Sharks and bulls all the way!!!

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-07-18 11:57

      I agree, I'll shout for our teams though, either way.

      Grant - 2012-07-18 12:25

      If the sharks' forwards manage to run at just 80%, we'll take it! All-Bok front row, with 3 massively influential loose forwards (and a 4th on the bench!!). Only way the Reds will be able to stop the onslaught is if our forwards simply dont rock up! Sharks by 10+

  • monti.montanari - 2012-07-18 12:11

    Its a long swim for the Sharks from Durban

  • madalha.roets - 2012-07-18 12:15

    Superbru picks will be Crusaders by 8 and sharks by 4...Don't see the bulls pulling it of against the Crusaders but hope I'm wrong...

  • orrinf8 - 2012-07-18 12:32

    come on Sharks, we'll see you at NEWLANDS next week .. THE MIGHTY STORMERS await you, and are behind you for this game against the reds !!

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-07-18 12:42

      The Stormers might prefer to play the Sharks than the Crusaders on Newlands as they have lots of support at Newlands.

      orrinf8 - 2012-07-18 13:03

      times have changed, and these so called (confused) maori's are in for a surprize, should the kiwi's (naate) qualify with the reds for the semi's .. I hope the Nulle come into their own against the '@$$-wipe' croesaders and teach them a lesson in arrogance as the kiwi's are fond of mind-games and arrogance before the game has even started, so in that regard: Go Bulls, show them who's most arrogant in the world of rugby :) .. and IMO the Sharks are gonna be too strong for the reds and will play THE MIGHTY STORMERS next week at NEWLANDS .. oh, before I forget .. SSSTTTOOORRRMMMEEERRRSSS

  • eugene.duplessis.7 - 2012-07-18 12:34

    At least one of the SA teams are already in the semi final! Hopefully more will follow.

  • tony.naidoo - 2012-07-18 13:40

    Welcome to Brissie, Sharks! I hope you guys turn the Queensland coast Red. Time to maul the Wannabies!

  • hans.himmler.7 - 2012-07-18 21:10

    Rather late than never. The Black and White...It's Dynamite.

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