'Sharks better up front'

2011-04-26 22:10

Stephen Nell

Cape Town - Brace yourself for a thriller that could be decided in the dying seconds.

That is the prediction of former Stormers and Sharks star Robbie Kempson for Saturday's Super Rugby match between the two teams at Newlands.

"It's a matter of the Sharks' attack against the Stormers' defence," said Kempson.

"The Stormers have a Springbok backline, but are not playing with a great deal of flair.

"However, the Sharks' tendency to play expansively could lead to turnover possession and create opportunities for the Stormers to counter-attack."

Kempson believes the Sharks are better equipped for the clash up front, irrespective which one of John Smit and Bismarck du Plessis runs out at hooker.

"The Sharks' pack and their front row is a better unit. They have more power up front. If Bismarck is fit they will probably pick him at hooker," he said.

"If there is any doubt whatsoever about his fitness, I believe they will start with John. I'm glad that John played so well against the Hurricanes. You can never write off any rugby player.

"John has been criticised a lot in his career, but came back strongly every time. He will continue to do that," added the former Springbok prop.

While he believes the Sharks are better up front, he is "very impressed" by the physicality shown by the Cape side.

"The only surprising thing is that they haven't really attacked with their backline. Many supporters are probably concerned that the Stormers don't really cross the try-line against good opponents," said Kempson.

"But it was the same story last year and they picked up their attack as the tournament progressed."

Kempson played for Western Province when they won the Currie Cup in 2000 and 2001. He is delighted with the success that the Cape teams have had since last year.

"The Stormers have come on in leaps and bounds. They started the process last year and have taken it to another level," he said.

As far as Saturday's opponents are concerned, Kempson singles out scrumhalf Charl McLeod as the "unsung hero" for the Sharks.

"He's keeping the Sharks on the front foot with his options and is getting the ball to the flyhalf quickly. The Sharks have strong ball-carriers and the only way of stopping that is with aggressive defence. But that's an area of the game that the Stormers enjoy."


  • A.K - 2011-04-26 22:23

    sharks to take it by 7points....

  • watalife - 2011-04-26 22:24

    The same was said earlier this season when the Stormers played bulls/sharks and they both came up very short.Stormers will have to attack from all angels and the defence must be ultra sharp. Stormers 27-Sharks 20

  • Kleinboet - 2011-04-27 01:30

    It is a toss up who is going to win this one - as usual! I am a Stormers fan but must conceed that John Smith played a good game last Saturday. If Grant is out due to injury, we have a problem. Nevertheless, I would bet a few bucks on the Stormers - more consistent this year.

      The Patriot - 2011-04-27 14:27

      The kickers are the stormers and sharks problem this weekend. With grant out and Lambies aim out its a fair and square contest.

  • Paddy - 2011-04-27 01:40

    Stormers by 10+

  • ikey_tiger - 2011-04-27 02:06

    I'll back the winner of this game to end on top of the South African conference at the end of this season.. Hoping the Stormers can do it..

  • vicj - 2011-04-27 09:15

    I think its going to come down to which side has the most reliable kicker on the day. Go Sharks, make us proud.

      The Patriot - 2011-04-27 14:28

      and thats going to be our problem, Lambies aim is in need of adjustment. At least Grant might be out. That dude's a machine. Rate him more then Morne'.

  • John - 2011-04-27 09:54

    Ya Robbie we have been hearing the pundits say the same thing for 8 games now. As far as I can remember the only game where the Stormers pack got smashed was against the Reds. They certainly stood up to the Sharks last time out. I do agree that McLoed is easily the best scrummie in SA at the moment and the Stormers will need to create some pressure around him.

      Paddy - 2011-04-27 10:00

      Agree John it’s the old story. Wonder what happened earlier this year in Durban and Loftus? Sick and tired hearing about the softies from the Cape while their own “big boys” came in second best every time. The Crusaders pack smashed the Bulls and the Sharks. Let’s see what happens next week against the Crusaders.

  • Jacques - 2011-04-27 10:50

    I agree John had a good game last week, but can he do it two weeks in a row?. Must say he looked like a hooker and not fat enough to stand in for a prop. The stormers are a well balanced team and with their excellent defense will beat the sharks 32 - 24.

  • Kevin - 2011-04-27 11:05

    Come on all you numbnuts...write us off again/as with the CC.We don't mind being regarded as the underdogs going into every match.Can't say we've hit our stride yet ,but will gaurantee the Stormers wont push our pack around this time.You Mt Goats haven't toured yet,so lets see.GO SHARKS!!!!!

  • FerretGee - 2011-04-27 11:29

    It's a brave person that will predict the winner of this clash. As a Shark supporter I naturally hope we do the business, but there is no doubt that this year, the Stormers have been the most consisant. The lack of tries must be worrying them and if Peter Grant is still out, their kicking options are limited. Having said that, none of the Shaarks kickers have shown much form of late. Like I said elsewhere on these forums yesterday, one lucky bounce, one indiscretion and the game will change. The top two teams of the SA conference meet on Saturday and it will be as intense as a final. Methinks it will be close either way!

  • ikey_tiger - 2011-04-27 14:09

    Was really looking forward to a Lambie vs Grant in at least one of this years super 15 clashes.. Would have been good to see them compete for that Springbok spot.. ah well..

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