Sharks relish underdog tag

2012-08-03 09:06

Wellington - The Sharks have said they relish the underdog tag ahead of Saturday's Super Rugby final where favourites the Chiefs have been boosted by confirmation captain Craig Clarke has been cleared to play.

The Chiefs host the championship decider at home in Hamilton because of their superior placing in the regular season where they finished second while the Sharks were the sixth and last team to qualify for the play-offs.

To make the top six, after mixed fortunes through the first half of the year, the Sharks won six of their final seven regular season games.

They have since clocked up a Super finals series travelling record as they criss-crossed the Indian Ocean three times to beat the Reds in Brisbane, the Stormers in Cape Town and then to reach Hamilton.

But coach John Plumtree reckons doing it the hard way has been good for the team.

"It's given us that little bit of confidence going into the big game. We've beaten the Australian conference winners, the South African winners and now we take on the New Zealand winners, it's been great for our team spirit," he said.

"We know we have a lot of support back home and we're also aware of the fact that no-one is really giving us a chance, so it's an opportunity to prove a lot of people wrong that we can pick ourselves up and go again."

During the regular season the Sharks lost six of 16 matches while the Chiefs dropped four after being written off at the start of the year as a side that lacked depth of experience.

Much of their ability to close out matches lay with the leadership skills of Clarke whose appearance in the final was in doubt after he strained a knee ligament during last week's semi-final win against the Crusaders.

He was only cleared to play late on Thursday and his locking partner Brodie Retallick said it was the tonic the Chiefs were looking for.

"It's just awesome what he's done and to have him out there, just with his leadership around the field and come lineout time, it's definitely a bonus to have him there," he said.

The Chiefs will be starting with the same run-on side that beat the Crusaders 20-17 in the semi-finals while the Sharks have made two changes to the side that beat the Stormers 26-19.

Paul Jordaan replaces the injured Tim Whitehead at inside centre and Patrick Lambie returns from injury to start at fullback ahead of Riaan Viljoen.

In the history of Super rugby the Chiefs have a slight edge over the Sharks winning eight of their 15 clashes including the last three.


15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Sona Taumalolo

Substitutes: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Jackson Willison, 22 Lelia Masaga

Sharks: 15 Patrick Lambie, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak,9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis,1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Riaan Viljoen


  • ndira.mtyenene - 2012-08-03 09:12

    Go Sharks!!!!!

  • boereroo.jackman - 2012-08-03 09:24

    Stormers suck. Bulls suck. Stormers suck. Bulls suck. Sorry but you know it's going to happen within five threads of any rugby article on news 24. I just thought I'd get in the act early this time and hopefully get it out of the way.

      skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-08-03 09:55

      “Suck” is actually a legitimate rugby term. Just the other day Thinus Delport said that one needed to suck defenders to create gaps out wide. It’s ok Thinus we know what you meant.

      Guy - 2012-08-03 12:00

      Classic! Also mention "no cups for 11 years", "Morne Steyn is rubbish" and something offensive about a complete stranger.

  • mack.myburgh - 2012-08-03 09:28


      denese.newby - 2012-08-03 15:24


  • BlouMasjien1 - 2012-08-03 09:28

    Go Sharks ! i've got a good feeling about this.

      Wally Walters - 2012-08-03 09:40

      I am a Stormer but the Sharks you have my support all the way

      BlouMasjien1 - 2012-08-03 09:49

      isak.visser - August 2, 2012 at 12:57 What's the big deal?? 90 or 92 is still within range. Anycase my daughter is also around 92kg, so I know how small that is!!!!!! @Sakkie as jou dogter 92 kg weeg en jy dink dit is klein, wat weeg jy ?

      TravieGrif - 2012-08-03 10:19

      @Isak...I want you to know that you are give me a really poor view of Stormers supporters. To the rest of South Africa supporting the Sharks, thank you, and I do hope we can bring the trophy back to these shores!

      mike.barmby - 2012-08-03 10:47

      Isak Visser the only troll using the race card is you. Why do you feel so inferior that you need to blast other teams who do better than yours? Are you not secure within yourself as a human being as well as a stormers supporter? What happened in your childhood to make you so screwy

      cap.mor.5 - 2012-08-03 10:48

      Visser, Please Go Away.

      terry.burne - 2012-08-03 11:55

      @Isak visser - Jy's a real Koos ..... met a capital "D" ne!!!

  • Jco - 2012-08-03 09:34

    From the Bay of Plenty I wish the Sharks all the best! I was at the game in Hamilton when the Bulls went under, I supported them but it was not good. Tomorrow I will again support another SA team, the Sharks. As a Bull supporter can I ask Bull, Stormer, Cheatas and Lion supporters to support the Sharks! It will be so good to win in NZ the Super 15 Cup!

  • skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-08-03 09:41

    First the Sharks had to GO to Brisbane. Then the Sharks had to GO to Cape Town. Then they had to GO to Australia….. Now they have to GO to Hamilton…… The last thing they want to hear is someone telling them to GO! Just kidding :) Give ‘em Carrots boys!!!!

  • skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-08-03 09:43

    Sport24 is that the best photo you have of Plum. Seriously? For the last few weeks he hasn't stopped smiling and this is your respresentation of the truth?

      BlouMasjien1 - 2012-08-03 10:04

      @Skinfaxi ,The photo was taken after he read the comment's of Sakkie

  • spear.tackle.7 - 2012-08-03 09:57

    Go Saarks !!!

      dave.short.102 - 2012-08-03 12:42

      Isak suurgat!!!!

  • jay.moodley - 2012-08-03 10:08

    Sharks FTW...

      cap.mor.5 - 2012-08-03 10:49

      Are you stupid? For The Win. Please Go Away.

  • Stormkaap - 2012-08-03 10:29

    Tough ask to win in NZ, but I'll be holding thumbs

      cap.mor.5 - 2012-08-03 10:50

      Again no rugby content in your comments. Please Go Away.

  • Jenna Jaymeson NZ - 2012-08-03 10:31

    If the guppies don't win they will overtake the stormpies as the new official SA chokers... 17 years or something like that! Funny enough the same kinda applies to the chiefs! So it's basically a choke-fest and WeerProbeer weren't invited... How rude!!!

      pierre.durandt.98 - 2012-08-03 11:30

      I disagree. To come from 6th position in the playoffs to make the final, then travel all the way to your part of the world a few days before the game and subsequently lose to a team that finished 2nd in the playoffs, had a week off and that benefits from a home final could not be described as choking. On the other hand... nevermind.

      danny.cohen.315 - 2012-08-03 11:32

      Jenne = OU KOEI.........

      danny.cohen.315 - 2012-08-03 11:38

      Sis, close your legs, your breath stinks.........

      Jenna Jaymeson NZ - 2012-08-03 11:56

      Danny, what's crack-a-lacking there on your face? Did you slip chin first into your boyfriends happy place during a wax?

  • pierre.durandt.98 - 2012-08-03 10:45

    As a Shark supporter living in Cape Town I have not been able to remove the grin on my face all week. Eish, I've got butterflies in my stomach thinking about tomorrow! If enough ball gets to JP, and also if Jannie remembers to catch the ball if it's passed to him, then I think we have a decent chance - but it's very tough to call. This is going to be an epic final. GO SHARKS!!!!!!!

  • etienne.pienaar.37 - 2012-08-03 10:52

    @isak.visser ,you most defnitly were concieved through anal sex because its just not natural to be that much of an assho*e

      cap.mor.5 - 2012-08-03 10:57

      Hy was deur sy ma se gat geboore want haar p was te besig daai tyd.

      dave.short.102 - 2012-08-03 12:44


      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-08-04 05:35

      Hell mr Potato Head you're the most boring troll ever .. ou suur pit ? FFS that's pathetic.. you should be crying in your huge pillow in shame

  • etienne.pienaar.37 - 2012-08-03 11:10

    daar net een persoon wat meer k*k kan praat as JZ en dit is isak.visser

  • etienne.pienaar.37 - 2012-08-03 11:18

    baie oorspronklik visser moet se, en asb een t nie twee nie

  • nikita.clayton1 - 2012-08-03 11:32

    I'm a Sharks supporter, always have been! But if it had been any other South African team in the finals, I would still support them... Lions, Bulls, Stormers etc... Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could stand together tomorrow as a nation and show our support, not for the best rugby team, but for the team that played hard and earned their slot in the finals? Just a thought... Very sad too about it being Michalak's last game as well :(

  • etienne.pienaar.37 - 2012-08-03 11:41

    no one wants to talk to isak.visser in real life so this is probly his only out let

  • hoffjw - 2012-08-03 11:51

    go chiefs go.....

  • etienne.pienaar.37 - 2012-08-03 12:11

    visser jy gee vir jouself likes dit tel nie lol

  • etienne.pienaar.37 - 2012-08-03 12:17

    nough said then innit

      danie.vandyk.50 - 2012-08-03 14:34

      Ou Isak, jy is so `n paar sente kort van `n rand ou maat en jy wys dit vir almal hier. Ek sou maar stil gebly het as ek so kinderagtig en dom soos jy was.

  • etienne.pienaar.37 - 2012-08-03 12:30

    @visser and with most ppl on this comments page :middle finger up to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! see i can also shout

  • vernon.annandale.7 - 2012-08-03 12:41

    Isak reminds me of Julias,one big cry baby,looking for attention,I wonder if they related

  • etienne.pienaar.37 - 2012-08-03 13:08

    stop insulting malema like that bwhahahaha

  • denese.newby - 2012-08-03 15:22

    GO sHARKS!!!

  • denese.newby - 2012-08-03 15:22

    GO SHARKS!!!

  • backstabber.adder - 2012-08-03 20:32

    Isak is a man from the Cape that loves and supports his team. What's wrong with that? Why are you guys picking on him. Yes, he has been off his rocker since the Storrmer defeat, but he probably has PTSD. And many here try and provoke him. He is certainly not any worse than many of the Blue Bull trolls here like Chaplin, Tardis, Fake Spies etc. Want him to join Cape Maori in supporting any team but a Saffa team? Idiots.

  • pages:
  • 1