The Sharks will be coming to their first home match with their tails up when they host the Waratahs in Durban on Saturday.
Using their “Getting out of jail” free card last week against the Brumbies would have given them much needed believes in their structure and the waa this young team is going forward. How do they say? It was not pretty at the end but bloody effective and that is sometimes all you need in Super Rugby to get in the winning ways.
With one win out of two and the Autralian tour done for the year the Sharks can look forward to get thing going and keep winning. As with the Lions this year they have the easier route in the pool stages not facing any New Zealand teams but you cannot just think you need to pitch up for these games.
The Waratahs are likely to be much improved from last week’s performance at the Lions, which was impacted by the late withdrawals due to injury of second-row Will Skelton and scrum-half Nick Phipps. The latter returns to the starting XV this week.
They were in the game against the Lions for most part of that first half and poor defense eventually let to their downfall. They have a Sharks side this weekend who does the basics brilliant and and like the set pieces so anything less than perfect will see the Waratahs getting their second loss in three weeks.
There are normally not plenty in these games between the Sharks and Waratahs and we can expect a close contest on Saturday. One tend to think that the battle for this win will come from the team who dominate upfront and in the set pieces. Both teams have exciting runners but they tend to play forward domination first before they start throwing the ball around.
With one win out of two on the road, coach Robert du Preez has understandably been pleased with their season start and hailed his players.
“The effort from the guys to pull of the win last weekend was fantastic and showed the character and fighting spirit amongst this special group of players,” he praised. “That win has definitely motivated us, however it is important that we build on that momentum this week.”
“The Waratahs will want to end their tour on a high and will be a difficult prospect,” he added, with the ‘Tahs having won four of their last seven matches in South Africa. “We’re looking forward to playing at home and the support of our fans will give us added motivation.”
Home field will count for something but they Sharks will have to play for it.
Head To Head
|Games||Sharks wins||Draws||Waratahs wins||Sharks points||Waratahs points|
|At home: 9||5||1||3||224||194|
|Average points scored per game||48.40|
Previous matches between these two sides
|2010-03-06||Waratahs||Sharks||25 – 21||Waratahs|
|2011-05-28||Sharks||Waratahs||26 – 21||Sharks|
|2012-03-24||Waratahs||Sharks||34 – 30||Waratahs|
|2014-03-29||Sharks||Waratahs||32 – 10||Sharks|
|2015-05-16||Waratahs||Sharks||33 – 18||Waratahs|
Prediction: Believe these two sides are evenly match and gives it to Sharks just because they are at home by 6 points
Sharks: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (c), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean- Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch
Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 David McDuling, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 Senio Toleafoa, 20 Maclean Jones, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Cameron Clark