Currie Cup

Sharks enter decisive fortnight

2018-09-18 11:32
Robert du Preez (Gallo Images)
Robert du Preez (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The Sharks have returned from their bye knowing that they are heading into the fortnight that will determine whether they can repeat last year’s feat of hosting the Currie Cup final. 

Western Province’s big win over the Golden Lions last weekend has left the Cape side and the Sharks as the only two unbeaten sides in the competition - and they are in a collision course as they prepare to clash at Newlands the week after next, according to the website

Just recently the Sharks have tended to be better in Cape Town against WP or the Stormers than they have been at Kings Park, and although Province will start as strong favourites, the Durbanites will feel they have hope at a venue where they won narrowly last year before being outplayed in the return league fixture and then the final on their home field. 

But first the Sharks face an as important and testing challenge in the form of the Lions, who will be smarting after their defeat to WP. Although unbeaten, the Sharks haven’t been quite as convincing as either the Lions or Province have been up to now, and they will know they need to lift their game and make improvements on their most recent performances against the Cheetahs and the Mpumalanga Pumas. 

They laboured a bit last time out at Kings Park against the Pumas, and won’t be able to afford that against the Lions, who have attacking threats across the board in a highly talented young team.

Both teams will be eager to find out which Springboks they might have available this week as the international season takes a break, although unlike WP there shouldn’t be a significant change as a sizeable proportion of the Lions and Sharks Boks not on central national contracts are contracted to Japanese clubs at this time of the year. 

Several players who were part of Rassie Erasmus’ initial Bok squad in June have also been released subsequently, with Dan and Robert du Preez junior having been involved in all the Currie Cup games up to now.

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