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Former Springbok captain sends out salty tweet following Sharks title win

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Monday May 27, 2024

Rugby World Cup winning captain and former Sharks stalwart John Smit is rightly regarded as one of the foremost voices when it comes to all things South African Rugby.

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The 46-year-old former front-row forward would end his time as a player with a remarkable 72% win rate with 46 wins from his 64 matches as skipper.

Following his retirement from the club in 2011, Smit would return two seasons later in 2013 as the CEO and would spend three years in the role.

Thus, when it comes to Sharks Rugby, there is nobody more well-placed to asses where the side are.

Copping some criticism earlier this season for his rather hilarious assessment of where the star-studded outfit found themselves towards the bottom of the URC table. Smit would describe the team as “They have a magnificent-looking team. It’s like walking through a parking lot and seeing a Ferrari, but as you peer through the window, it has no gearbox. That’s the reality.”

This would lead to team owner Marco Massoti responding by saying, “I am grateful for the comparison to a Ferrari. A Ferrari is always a Ferrari. A gearbox will eventually be fixed.

Massoti would then go on to compare Smit to  “An old Toyota Corolla from the past.”

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Whilst there is little doubt the back and forth between the two men was very much in jest, the Sharks form throughout the season was no joke for their supporters.

Firmly out of the running for a playoff spot by mid-season, the Sharks put all of their eggs into one basket with the sole aim of winning the EPCR Challenge Cup.

A win in the second-tier competition would secure an automatic spot in next season’s Investec Champions Cup, ensuring that whoever finishes in 8th place on the BKT URC table will miss out.

On Friday evening at the futuristic Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Sharks did exactly what they needed to do by dismantling the English Premiership outfit Gloucester Rugby.

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In the end, the final score would flatter Gloucester at 36 – 22, such was the dominance of the Sharks, who now have just one match remaining against archrivals the Bulls this weekend.

Taking to Twitter to congratulate his former team, Smit also took a cheeky dig at the upcoming law changes many South Africans felt aimed at diminishing their dominance at scrum time.

As a former front row forward it is unsurprising that Smit would be opposed to any changes that would devalue the scrum.

World Rugby announce THREE law changes and SIX further trials

Adding an interesting subtext to Smit’s tweet was the clear scrum superiority the Sharks held with a full Springbok front row of Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi and Vincent Koch packing down.

Do you agree with Smit’s assessment and what have you made of the Sharks in 2024? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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