Sharks 'SA's best S15 hope'

2012-01-16 11:08

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.”


  • Lionel - 2012-01-16 11:19

    With all the happenings down here in Cape Town and the loss of players I tend to agree that the Sharks will be SA strongest contenders but the season is long.................. the Lions will not be far behind!!!!!

      Nico - 2012-01-16 13:51

      On paper the sharks is the best contenders, however, i think there is a lot of big egos clashing in the side, something that was obvious in the finals. Lions will go to the playoffs, and the surprise package will be the cheetahs. Judged by plums pic above, I think he is making excuses already :)

      Saffa - 2012-01-16 13:53

      Helllllllllllllllo @Gooinat. Sabbaticals are over......Lloyd was also chatting on Friday - he is in SA for a little while, look out for his posts under the name Blouballas. He says the 2 Sunny Bills are speaking with 'accents' already. I hope you are well? To be honest....I think the SA conference is a blind mans lottery this year. Sharks have massive lock and centre issues, and with Keegan Daniels captaining....not sure how their cookie is gonna crumble. We have a union drowning in p#ss and politics, player and coach losses - BUT, still a pretty settled team-major issues: Our defensive general in the backline Jaque Fourie eating frikkin sushi and making gazillions and no out and out fetcher. Lions - long season which means lack of depth exposed. The Bulls....ummmmm, Spies is captaining them and Meisie vice captaining - ENUFF said :) I like the Cheetahs this season....very settled (coaches/players in general) Juan Smith fit (for now...), Brussow, Goosen, the Ebersohns, NICE loosies....I am going to give the CHEETAHS a vote of confidence-I reckon they are going to be A-OK unless depth bites them as well - but they cope well in the face of adversity.

      Lionel - 2012-01-16 14:33

      Nico,you are correct,ego's are a big thing but now that Smit is gone I think Bissie can settle down nicely in the hooker position!!!!

      Lionel - 2012-01-16 14:38

      My dear friend Saffa,welcome back............I truly have missed you,alls well thanks looking forward to S15 and the bashing:):):)I must say you are very good nudge nudge wink wink!!!!!Old Lloyd,my word,will wait for him to make an appearance and catch up with the old bugger:):):) All ok with you???? Yip the S15 is going to be a lottery this year,any ideas on new Director for WP????

      Saffa - 2012-01-16 15:40

      @Lionel: the scary thing is: I'm not sure who the bubblegum will be making any decisions on that.....Will it be the professional arm, or the gravy train freeloaders from the 86 clubs in the province? After that morbidly obese troll Wakefield made those ridiculous quota comments during the Currie Cup, we should have all realised things were WORSE than what they seemed (and they already seemed bad). Then when the clubs started the whinging about UCT and Maties getting all the exposure, we should have read what was on the wall....(even though we are used to this cr@p down here). Then the Sarries/Biarritz joke, player contracts, coaching contracts etc.....a mess. The rest of the country probably don't realise how pwerful our 86 (I think it is) clubs are down the detriment of PROFESSIONAL RUGBY. May all the amateur shmucks choke on their chicken wings!!!!! Sadly - we might just have to reach rock rock rock rock rock bottom before it changes.

      Lionel - 2012-01-16 16:05

      My concern is that Stormers/WP rugby is becoming increasingly embarrasing for us as fans and for players and its gonna start effecting performances........,that eposide regarding the Saracens game was just to much(I actually watched it yesterday,stadium was quite empty) I sincerely hope our beloved team can pull through this because all respect to the Lions,I really dont wanna see our team go the same way. Ps:Paul the Canadian Dr makes an appearance now again as well,he is under the name of Pieter but with all the drabble that comes from he's mouth you should pick it up quick enough that it is him:):):)

      Blouballas - 2012-01-16 17:28

      Hi Saffa, gooinat & Balsak. Like a little reunion this.

      Saffa - 2012-01-16 18:02

      LOL @Lloyd. A meeting place for zealots.......Hope you are enjoying this frikkin CT heatwave.....(unless you are visiting up north...)

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-17 05:43

      It's nogal warm down here. Will be going North by the weekend.

      Marius - 2012-01-17 12:55

      @ Lionel and Saffa. Living in PE, know how you feel. WP is in exactly the same position that EP was in 10 years ago. Freeloading affirmative president and committee, exactly the same coach as EP had then. Sorry to tell you, but I give WP only 3 more years, before they end up where EP was for the last 10 years. In the mean time I will have to support the Stormers this year as 75 % of their players will be playing for the Kings in next year's S15 after finishing last in the SA conference this year and being replaced by the Kings for 2013.

      Kenjaymay - 2012-01-17 22:50

      So all the usual suspects are back!.........It's going to be a long season listening to all the Bulls#it from you lot!! Go LIons!!!!!............Yes Isak we are the CC Champions and that gives us bragging rights for the whole year!!!

  • Wimpie - 2012-01-16 11:22

    LMAO !!!!

  • bern1975 - 2012-01-16 11:22

    Hahahahahahaha!!!! The Sharks to win the SA conference? Hahahahahahaha!!!! Wait, wait...let me read this again...Hahahahahahaha!!!!

      Dale - 2012-01-16 11:30

      This is Super Rugby, not Currie Cup. Try support all the SA teams...

      Marcell - 2012-01-16 11:53

      @Dale Get a life boet. Dis nie die four nations nie. Jy moet seker 'n Stormer wees.

      Benmica - 2012-01-16 12:21

      Laat my dink....hulle springbok voorry kon niks aan die Leeutjies doen nie....reverse heeltyd... Dalk het hulle 15 onbekende spelers wat ons nie van weet nie.. en hulle is honger as die Leeus...

      nadine.devilliers - 2012-01-16 13:53

      ha ha ha ha ha - let me look at your pic again!!! Are you really that fat Bern?

      bern1975 - 2012-01-18 13:20

      Dale you chop! Just because I don't give them Sharky boys a chance this year doesn't mean I won't support them! Doh!

      bern1975 - 2012-01-18 13:31

      Hey Nadine, there is something on your face...oh I see it's freckles. Be careful it's not egg later on...

  • steveroodt - 2012-01-16 11:40


      Denése - 2012-01-16 15:41


  • Niela - 2012-01-16 11:45

    "the Lions 11th and the Cheetahs 12th" Wag maar en sien... 2012 Die jaar van die katte!

  • Marcell - 2012-01-16 11:51

    Dit is altyd interessant. Die Stormers wen die beker na die eerste rondte en die Sharks wen die groep voordat die kompetisie begin het. Pasop dat julle spul nie weer met Blou gesigte sit nie. Blou is so mooi.

      Benmica - 2012-01-16 12:22

      Blou Bul mooi...

      Chris - 2012-01-16 14:11

      Ag shame...droom voort.

      Blou-Daan - 2012-01-16 14:21

      @Macell Hulle leer nie, kan jy onthou dat elke seisoen wat die Bulle die Super Beker gewen het was hulle ook voor die eerste wedstryd afgeskryf en bespot? Al hierdie praatjies gee my baie hoop vir die Bulle, want die geskiedenis sal dalk net weer homself herhaal.

      Roger - 2012-01-16 14:46

      Well said Marcell. Same story every year.

  • derikbench - 2012-01-16 12:19

    Bulls minus Fourie, Bakkies, Matfield... Stormers minus Jacque Fourie, Rassie, maybe Jacques Nienaber... these teams don't have much of a chance. I call Sharks / Lions to end top of conference. Cheetahs third.

      Wikus - 2012-01-16 12:36

      The Bulls will definitely struggle. I have to agree that the Sharks are probably the strongest representative at the moment. Now THAT'S a worrying prospect... But also holding thumbs for the Lions.

  • Benmica - 2012-01-16 12:19

    Did they see the Lions play.....

      nadine.devilliers - 2012-01-16 13:54

      I don't think anyone has seen the lions play - lets be honest they suck...

      Koos - 2012-01-16 14:37

      @nadine they did win the CC!

      Denése - 2012-01-16 15:46

      The Lions were the only team in the Curry Cup that had a settled team throughout - the players gelled so well by the end. Wait till they also lose many players to the Boks like the rest of the franchises - esp Sharks, Bulls, WP

      Johan - 2012-01-16 16:16

      @Denese - hoeveel springbok spelers het die lions nie al verloor die laaste paar jaar nie? Met 10 springbokke kon die sharks nogsteeds niks doen nie.

  • Bennie - 2012-01-16 12:40

    Lions to top the conference with the Cheetahs second!

      Blou-Daan - 2012-01-16 14:43

      @Bennie Ek hou van hoe jy dink, maar ek dink ons almal moet liewer wag voor ons begin voorspel. Ek wil baie graag die Bulle heelbo sien met die Lions tweede en Stormers heel laaste, so kom ons hou maar net duimvas :-)

      Lionel - 2012-01-16 14:48

      Ai, skaam vir jou Daan om te se my geliefde Stormers moet heel onder eindig!!!!!!Pasop die Bulls val nie heeltemal uit die bus uit en eindig onder nie:):):)Is daar enige verder nuus op Heyneke Meyer as Bok afrigter????

      Blou-Daan - 2012-01-16 14:53

      @Lionel Dis maar tong-in-die-kies wat ek altyd so oor die Stormers spot, om die waarheid te se, ek hoop hulle twak word gou opgeklaar daar in die Kaap. Ek het nognie weer iets van Heyneke gehoor nie my maat, ek dink dit gaan nou stil wees tot die 27ste

      Lionel - 2012-01-16 15:03

      Nee,ek weet ek trek net jou been en ons gee mekaar gas,alles goeie sports!!!! As ek moet kies tussen Smal en Meyer sal ek vir seker gaan vir Meyer,wat hy gedoen it om die Bulle te laat 3 Super titles te wen is ongelooflik!!!Hoop net as hy gekies word sal SARU hom los om sy job te doen!!!!!

      Blou-Daan - 2012-01-16 15:08

      @Lionel Ek kan sien ek en jy dink dieselfde :-) Ons moet nou maar net duimvashou....!!!!

      Saffa - 2012-01-16 15:47

      Ek was altyd 'n groot Heyneke Meyer fan....maar nadat hy Spies kaptein van die Bulls gemaak het...weet ek nie meer nie. DIEP teleurgesteld in die man. Hy het van die beste jong 8's in die LAND daar......wat in my opinie REEDS beter is as Spies (wie met alle respek gese: nie sy plek in enige span op spelpeil verdien die laast paar seasons al) - so om 'n man wat NIE die beste SPELER in sy posisie is jou kaptein te maak, is altyd 'n stuff up.....Ek WEET hy het die ondervinding (wat die nuwe jong Bulls manne goed sal help) MAAR: as mens besig is om te 'bou', kan jy net sowel die onervare ouens back om die job te doen - VERAL as hulle beter SPELERS is, as die ou wat huidiglik daar opinie thats all.

      Lionel - 2012-01-16 15:59

      Saffa,your dislike for Spies has not changed one bit,hahahahahahaha,when Spies was appointed Captain old Brannas managed to leave the bottle alone for a few seconds and made an appearance and said he would have loved to have seen the expression on your face when Spies's appointment was made:):):)

      Saffa - 2012-01-16 16:20

      @Lionel - LOLLLLLLLLLLL! The 1st thing 'Lloyd' wrote on Friday, was that he thought of me the minute he heard Spies had been announced Bulls captain. I actually thought it was a typo when I 1st read it - the Spies announcement. I visited a few websites, which all said the same, and then I stumbled across a Spies interview, in which he said he EXPECTED to be named captain, and that he knew it in the back of his head....... Chortle chortle chortle. Can't wait for those 20 points down on the scoreboard motivational chats he will be giving.....How he can he G his troops up to tackle when he is allergic to tackling? How can he encourage his chaps to get to the breakdown chop chop, when he refuses to attend but them. In fact - how the dickens are they going to find him when they NEED a motivational chat - we all know the oke disappears for 80 minutes. Oh well - fun times ahead :) - Jokes aside, I reckon they have named him captain purely to see if this doesn't FORCE the man to get involved a bit more - maybe he proves me wrong, hahahaha, but 3 years and counting, he just keeps proving me right.

  • pieterla - 2012-01-16 12:45

    The Sharks has a big reputation but on the field the BMT is missing. Also, taking last season into account, the team is missing something and the spirit in the team will be an indication.

  • Daniel - 2012-01-16 12:58

    Even though alot of the SI rugby stuff is written out of date and often written by bunch of muppets I do however feel this could be accurate

  • dirk.dup - 2012-01-16 12:59

    Bulls vs Sharks. First Round. Lets see. Then talk again!! Bulls all the way!!

  • Sharon - 2012-01-16 13:04

    I predict that it will be Sharks, Lions, Stormers, Bulls and Cheetahs.... The lions are good, just not Super 15 good yet, Stormers took a hit loosing Rassie and Jacque Fourie, Bulls shame they lost their big boys and the glue that held their team together... Lets hope the Sharks put there big boy pants on and play like we all know they can... SHARKS FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Koos - 2012-01-16 13:46

      Lions good but not S15 good yet???? They did THRASH a Bok Laden which is the Sharks's first choice S15 team!!!

      Ryan - 2012-01-16 14:14

      @Nitro... you are dwelling on the past mate... the fact remains that yes the Lions have beaten the Sharks on a number of occasions, but have they ever made the the playoffs of super 15... EVER...?? I thought not, so maybe, in a couple seasons when they ready they will stand a chance. Besides they beat a Bok laden Sharks 15 when those very boks were tired from an intense season and had not played with the rest of the squad for that season. So there are a lot of factors to take into account here, not just one winning game...

      Koos - 2012-01-16 14:39

      @ryan excuses excuses mate. I'm not a lion supporter just saying all the Sharks are big mouthed as usual. In fact the Lions,Cheetahs,Stormers and Sharks can't really brag until have have won a Super Rugby trophy.

      Kevin - 2012-01-16 15:22

      @Ryan...our loss to the Lions was due solely to poor management of players for that specific game.The coaches had a brainfart as in 2009 and promptly chose to play the Bokke instead of the CC side which thumped the Lions in the semis...with the Bokke coming off the bench for the the remaining 20mins.CC loss falls squarely on their shoulders!!! Going forward ...we'll battle too settle without centres and locks....but will support them 100%!!!

      Denése - 2012-01-16 15:52

      Sharon - you said it! The Sharks are by far the best team but they so often do not play to their potential. They need to be more hungry - like they were when they won the 2007 Super 14 (not on paper!) and the 2010 Curry Cup.

      derikbench - 2012-01-16 16:07

      @ Kevin - you fail to remember that for the final round robin game against the Sharks, the Lions were already assured of the first place on the log and a home semi-final, and hence fielded a second stringer team. The Sharks have been playing Super 15 the whole year, and should've been able to gel within two games. Also, key combinations in the Sharks team played together for the Boks anyways, so they should've walked into the team "gelled" (the whole front row)

      Mark - 2012-01-16 17:31

      @Nitro, if my memory serves me right, the Lions did win a S10, true it was a long time ago, but it does give them Bragging rights.

  • Niekie - 2012-01-16 13:11

    R1 for every time I've heard this nonsense! Based on what? That the sharks have the BMT of Kevin Curren!!?? Please!!!!!!!

  • hc12345 - 2012-01-16 13:37

    Said stupid!!!

  • Nico - 2012-01-16 13:44

    GO LIONS!!! Lions will top the log, Cheetahs will be the surprise package and Stormers / Bulls will be in a rebuilding phase :)

      Lionel - 2012-01-16 14:40

      Nico,I sincerely hope the Lions do do well this year,they owe it to there supporters!!!

      Nico - 2012-01-16 14:57

      @Lionel, winning the CC went a good way in paying us back :) I do think the Lions got the best coaching staff in the country though, and with a good mix between young and more experienced players they should do well. All this pending injuries though, any team that is going to pick up a number of injuries to key players will struggle this year.

  • frank.lottering - 2012-01-16 13:58

    every year the same thing sharks sharks sharks BUT WHERE DO THEY END UP#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Kosie - 2012-01-17 11:12

      better than the bulls,cheetahs and lions in 2011

  • Claude - 2012-01-16 14:01

    Too many losses too much disruption and not strong enough at prop for the Stormers to be contenders but I still support them.

  • Chris - 2012-01-16 14:08

    Met die waansin tot 'n hoogtepunt gedryf in die Kaap, dink ek as 'n stoere WP-ondersteuner dat die Stormers waarskynlik naby aan laaste gaan eindig. Ek kan nou nog nie glo dat ons ondersteuners maar net aanvaar wat hier aangaan nie. Ek se weer: boikot alle wedstryde tot en met die bestuur na ons begin luister! Dit is na alles die ondersteuners wat hulle en die spelers se salarisse betaal!!!

  • Deon - 2012-01-16 14:09

    Lions have such a good team but for some reason they don't make any headway in Super Rugby anymore. They did win many years ago the Super10, maybe they will be better this year? Sharks probably favourite to be on top of SA division.

  • gavin.simpson.0 - 2012-01-16 14:11

    Gooooo Sharks. Let the games begin.

  • Blou-Daan - 2012-01-16 14:14

    Ai, op papier lyk dinge gewoonlik baie anders as in die realiteid. Ek self wil nie nou al wilde voorsdpellings waag nie, al wat ek gaan waag om te se is watch die Bulle die jaar. Oor die algemeen is die Bulle jonk en onvoorspelbaar met n goeie mengsel van ervaring. En ek wonder of die Stormers nie deur poletiek gepootjie gaan word nie. En dis alles net net my eie opinie :-)

      Lionel - 2012-01-16 14:50

      As Theo Wakefield en kie nie inmeng nie sal daar nie verder politiek wees in Stormers rugby,ons hoop:):):)

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-01-16 14:27

    Never thought I'd say this, but theres now just too much rugby. I hate this new system, don't we have a Currie Cup for local derbies. I'm going to start being very picky as to watch, the game is getting watered down. I'm not even excited anymore before a big game. Sucks!

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-01-17 10:27

      Guess I'm in the minority with this opinion then. Jurre, you ou's like your rugby then - hope you stay married,the vrou's tend to get a bit g-vol with every Saterday the same old thing.

  • Justin Koen - 2012-01-17 04:38

    I've read it a million times but what on earth is the abbreviation BMT?

      Willa - 2012-01-17 09:07

      Bulle met Testikels, Justin

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-01-17 10:22

      Big Match Tempriment.

      Kosie - 2012-01-17 11:14

      bacon met tomato

  • Anthony - 2012-01-18 07:49

    The Sharks had the better team ON PAPER in the Currie Cup 2011, but the coach needs to learn some "French Flair " to get the attack working. The SHarks attack was so predictable, a grade 2 side could defend against them.

  • pages:
  • 1