Sharks face Cheetahs in opener

2012-09-22 00:00

THE Sharks, the losing Super Rugby finalists this year, open their 2013 campaign against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on February 23.

John Plumtree’s team play their first game at home a week later when they face the Stormers at King’s Park. They then travel to Port Elizabeth to face the Southern Kings, the Super Rugby newcomers, in Port Elizabeth on March 9.

The Sharks appear to have a favourable draw with their two bye weekends coming in the sixth and 15th rounds of the marathon competition, which stretches from late in February until the first week of August when the final will be played.

Teams play 16 matches with home and away games against the other four teams in the South African conference (Sharks, Stormers, Bulls, Cheetahs and Kings).

The teams meet three of the four teams in the Australian and New Zealand conferences and this year, the Sharks will not play the NSW Waratahs and the Wellington Hurricanes in the round robin play.

The Sharks open their four-match tour Down Under against the title-holding Chiefs in a repeat of this year’s final. They then meet the Highlanders before travelling to Australia to play the Reds and the Force.

The fixtures were announced by Sanzar yesterday in a new-look draw which features a staggered start, and staggered resumption after the June internationals, to accommodate the British Lions’ tour of Australia.

The Australian teams kick off one week earlier, and close one week later, as well as resuming two weeks later in July after the international window, in order to manage the extended Lions’ schedule.

SHARKS SUPER RUGBY DRAW 2013

(home team first, SA times)

February 23 – Cheetahs vs Sharks , 5.05 pm.

March 2 – Sharks vs Stormers, 7.10 pm.

March 9 – Kings vs Sharks, 7.10 pm.

March 16 – Sharks vs Brumbies, 5.05 pm.

March 23 – Sharks vs Rebels, 5.05 pm

March 30 - Sharks bye

April 5 (Friday) – Sharks vs Crusaders, 7.10 pm.

April 13 – Stormers vs Sharks, 5.05 pm

April 20 – Sharks vs Cheetahs, 5.05 pm

April 27 – Chiefs vs Sharks, 9.35 am

May 4 – Highlanders vs Sharks, 9.35 am.

May 10 (Friday) – Reds vs Sharks, 11.40 am.

May 17 (Friday) – Force vs Sharks, 1.40 pm

May 25 – Sharks vs Bulls, 7.10 pm

June 1 – Sharks bye.

June 29 – Sharks vs Blues, 3.00 pm

July 6 – Bulls vs Sharks, 7.10 pm

July 13 –Sharks vs Kings, 5.05 pm

July 20 – Quarter-finals

July 27 – Semi-finals

August 3 – Final.

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