Thursday, August 02, 2012
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