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Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Sharks charge into Super Rugby Final after win over the Stormers

The Sharks are clocking up the mileage as this week they've flown to New Zealand to face the Chiefs in the Super Rugby Final. The Durban boys beat the Stormers 26-19 at Newlands, so here is a look at the match highlights if you missed them.

If the Sharks are to win this coming weekend it will mean they would have beaten all three conference winners, namely the Reds, the Stormers, and the Chiefs. It is an uphill challenge though as the fatigue of travel will surely come into play soon.

One thing we have seen from this side though is their grim determination, backed up by a pack that boasts a whole host of Springbok experience, and young talent. Out wide they have speed to burn and have shown that their defensive patterns are right up there with the best of them.

At number ten they hold somewhat of a trumpcard, as Frenchman Freddie Michalak has been in superb form of late, and with enough go forward ball, can control a game.

A boost to the side is the return of Springbok fullback Patrick Lambie, while impressive center Tim Whitehead has dropped out with a hand injury. Paul Jordaan also comes into the side, and on form JP Pietersen will again play in the midfield.

"For the first time in my career I'm fully fit and feeling very strong and that brings confidence. When you play well, your confidence rises and motivates you further, I'm just happy that I'm performing well for the team," Pietersen said. He feels that to beat the Chiefs, they need to start well up front.

"It's going to be hard, it's going to be physical, and if we don't front up and take them on at their own game, we will have a long day. But it's all about the good start and building from there."

The Chiefs host the Sharks in Hamilton on Saturday. Kick off: 19:35 local | 07:35 GMT | 09:35 CEST

Posted at 11:42 am | 13 comments

Viewing 13 comments

Paul August 02, 2012 11:32 pm

Allez Michalak !!!!
(first ;)

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katman August 03, 2012 8:02 am

In a period of just over two weeks, by the time they return to Durban, they will have clocked up over 55 000km, traveling from Durban to Jo'burg, Jo'burg to Brisbane, Brisbane to Cape Town, Cape Town to Sydney, Sydney to Hamilton and Hamilton back to Durban.

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katman August 03, 2012 8:21 am

JP Pietersen is playing the best rugby of his career. Hope he can do this for the Boks too. And the Sharks back row are in great form. This final is going to be huge.

Any chance of posting the huge collision between Eben Etzebeth and Bismarck du Plessis early in the game?

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stroudos August 03, 2012 9:01 am

@katman - In case you can't wait - looks like RD's been a bit busy lately ;-) - here is young Etzebeth swatting Du Plessis like an annoying fly:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCHFsHlKpoo

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katman August 03, 2012 9:35 am

Thanks, that's the one. Big Boom. But to his credit Bismarck carried on, shook it off and had another big game for the Sharks.

Watch out for Etzebeth though. He's the next big thing in green and gold. Like Bakkies without the brainfarts.

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stroudos August 03, 2012 10:28 am

I've already seen too much of him for my liking, in the recent England tour to SA... He is awesome.

I just don't understand how these guys get so powerful and so destructive at such a young age. When I was 20 I'd have knocked myself out cold trying to run into people like that.


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katman August 03, 2012 11:28 am

He has a colourful family history. He’s from a fairly rough, working class area of Cape Town where his dad and uncles were legendary hard men and bar brawlers (as well as provincial rugby players and amateur wrestlers). Here’s an interesting piece on him:

http://www.greenandgoldrugby.co.za/the-terminator-from-parow/

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stroudos August 03, 2012 2:11 pm

Wow. To be fair he's done very well not to pick up that twattish behaviour. His looks a far more controlled type of aggression.

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Guy August 03, 2012 2:52 pm

Wow!

After reading the article I have to agree with Stroudos. I am even more impressed than I already was by him. After all his family did not really set the right example.

Is he considered the next Bakkies or Victor allready in SA?

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ruckinmual August 03, 2012 5:30 pm

He is him, he is not the next Bakkies nor Victor, I reckon he can be better.

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LP August 03, 2012 4:42 pm

Talking about tough, I love the moment @ 2.23 when aplon tries to take on the beast in the ruck:)

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stroudos August 05, 2012 9:41 pm

Awesome! I sometimes get the impression Aplon doesn't actually understand what size he is.

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katman August 03, 2012 4:46 pm

Pretty much, yes. In one season Victor, Bakkies and Danie Rossouw all left Bok rugby, so there are a few big gaps to fill in the second row. But Eben seems to have the no.4 jersey sewn up, with Bekker probably settling into the no.5 jersey. And then there's Juandre Kruger as back-up to them. So not too bad.

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