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Savea puts Mvovo on his backside

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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Ross Skeate Diary - Final Preview

The Ross Skeate Diary - Final Preview

Skeato won't be playing for the Sharks in the Currie Cup final tomorrow as he's unfortunately still recovering from his groin surgery. That hasn't stopped the excitement though as he shares his thoughts on the what should be a great day of rugby between his former side, and his current.

What a momentous occasion this Saturday promises to be then. Two teams, hurtling headfirst at one another after months of dogged and precise preparation.

A mouth-watering and deserving match-up as the two sides that played arguably the best brand of rugby throughout the course of the Currie Cup now race towards each other with the kind of resolve that is sure to explode into an amazing spectacle that shall be carved into South African rugby history forever, as well as the minds and hearts of everyone involved.

That includes you and I, relegated to watch from the murky shadowy depths of the sidelines as lightning cracks around ABSA Stadium, and volcanoes erupt along its boundaries. An epic battle awaits!

What imagery hey? Im exhausted just thinking about it.

The prospect of these two sides meeting in the final seemed to be written on the walls of each result as both teams marched towards this final point. When the Currie Cup log lead switched hands a few times in the beginning of the season before the Sharks claimed it firmly for themselves, it was easy to envision this final.

Of course the Boks coming back into the Bulls may have thrown a spanner into the works for both sides (and more significantly the Sharks) but both teams held fast and here we are. SAs two biggest coastal cities couldnt be happier.

There are of course some interesting permutations between the two sides and an interesting history that I have had the benefit of experiencing from both sides of the fence now. Although traditional rivalries such as the North-South derbies may have received more media coverage and gained more significance over the course of the past few years, indeed for as long as memory serves, make no mistake there shall be no shortage of ballast from either side come kickoff at 5pm on Saturday. That of course is providing no swarm of bees rock up Im no apiologist ( Editors note - had to google that one, Ross) .

The last time these two teams met in Cape Town marked the last loss for the Sharkies. Although admittedly they did have less to play for than Province and not fielding their strongest team also adding to their woes on the day, it was a game that shall really have no bearing upon this one as there shall be two very different sides running out the tunnel come Saturday.

As for the match before that one, in Durban, it was the Sharks that walked away with the honours but again now that is just a distant memory.

Both of those previous clashes were talked up as the Sharks attacking play versus Provinces defensive prowess leading up to this weekends clash the talk seems to have switched to the issue of BMT and Finals experience and the like.

Personally I think itll be a good mix of discipline, aggression, first phase possession, tactics, kicking, and tackling, and shouting, and breathing, and running and jumping.

But seriously, I do think that the usual clichs of: defence wins championships and teams win games, not individuals shall obviously play their part and of course we all know that the team with more possession and a better tactical approach will prevail but the same is to be said for every game really. There are no bonus points on offer on Saturday.

As for the BMT factor, and that of experience? Well that counts for a lot, but not everything. Just ask the Bulls.

So, who am I tipping then? When it comes to a final like this one all predictions can go out the window as anything can happen on the day. The collective scratching of heads by every bookie in the country is a small indication of that. All I can with any certainty say is that if you miss this one, youll be truly missing out.

All my best and see you there this weekend. Go Sharks.


While out of action Ross has been working hard on his recovery but also supporting another important cause - the fight against breast cancer. Find out what he's been up to by checking out his site where you can get all the information on how to donate and stand in line to win a signed, limited edition Sharks rugby jersey. Visit and follow him on Twitter

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