Super Rugby preview: Sharks

    2017-02-20 10:16

    Cape Town - It is often difficult to know what to expect from the Sharks in Super Rugby and that is very much the case in 2017. 

    They have a new coach in Robert du Preez, who is believed to be a tad more adventurous than Gary Gold was last year. 

    The Sharks started pre-season before any of the other South African Super Rugby sides and they have placed a major emphasis on fitness and conditioning ahead of the new season. 

    They did well to make the play-offs last year given that they had to play the New Zealand franchises in regular season. Their quarter-final at the Hurricanes saw them walloped 41-0 in Wellington, however, and in the end the Durbanites would have been disappointed with their return.

    This year, they play the Aussie teams and they will be backing themselves to go one step further. 

    Of course, the Sharks are grouped with the Lions in their African conference. 


    Pat Lambie will captain the Sharks and is certainly their most important player. It is not so much Lambie's ability that is in question, but more his fitness. The flyhalf has played just 16 Super Rugby matches in the last 3 years and if the Sharks are to have any real success in 2017, their playmaker will need to stay fit. The fitness of scrumhalf Cobus Reinach is also key.


    Nobody really stands out. The Sharks did sign French fullback Clement Poitrenaud, but at 34-years-old how much of an impact he will make remains to be seen. Kobus van Wyk and Jeremy Ward are also exciting acquisitions in the Sharks backline, while loose forward Jacques Vermeulen arrives from the Stormers.  


    Marcell Coetzee barely featured for the Sharks last year because of injury but his departure to Ulster will hurt. Willie le Roux is the other big one - the fullback leaving for Wasps. His absence means that it could be a big year for young Curwin Bosch. 


    February 24: Reds (a)
    March 4: Brumbies (a)
    March 11: Waratahs (h)
    March 18: Kings (h)
    March 25: Cheetahs (a)
    April 1: Lions (a)
    April 8: Jaguares (h)
    April 15: BYE
    April 22: Rebels (h)
    April 29: Jaguares (a)
    May 6: Force (h)
    May 13: Kings (a)
    May 20: Sunwolves (a)
    May 27: Stormers (h)
    June 30: Bulls (h)
    July 15: Lions (h)


    We've had a chat, and we reckon the Sharkies could be one to watch this year. It's a big call, but we see them challenging the Lions for top spot in the conference and maybe even securing a home quarter-final. 

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    05 August 2017
    29 July 2017
    22 July 2017
    21 July 2017
    15 July 2017
    14 July 2017
    08 July 2017
    07 July 2017
    01 July 2017
    30 June 2017
    09 June 2017
    03 June 2017
    02 June 2017
    28 May 2017
    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The 2017 Super Rugby tournament has reached its quarter-final stage. When all is said and done, who emerges victorious?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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