Sharks still face an uphill battle

2014-09-15 00:00

THE Sharks have given themselves a big uphill battle to climb going into the last four rounds of the Currie Cup.

Following their draw with the Cheetahs on Saturday, which was once again delivered by a late kick from their opponents, the Sharks now sit with three wins from six games.

That includes two losses and the latest draw.

In the grand scheme of things the Sharks now sit in the middle of the Currie Cup log with four games left in hand.

The new look Currie Cup saw the Durban side play the Pumas, Griquas and Cheetahs twice in the group stages.

They now play one-off games against the Bulls, Lions, Kings and Western Province before the herd is culled for the play-offs.

The teams who end up first and second on the log secure a home semi-final while the third and fourth placed teams face them away.

Although a win was required this weekend, a draw does not put the Sharks out of the running for the play-offs.

It is none the less going to be a difficult task with two home and away games left to play.

Their first call of duty is a trip up to Pretoria to face the Bulls at Loftus Versveld. The Bulls are not at their notorious best at the moment, but they are a tough outfit at home on any given day.

The Sharks looked very good when they strung phases together against the Cheetahs this weekend, but it was their execution that let them down once again and they will need to take a hard look at themselves.

The inclusion of a youngster like Andre Esterhuizen can be seen as a blessing and a curse.

He was very good throughout the game, but his inexperience showed with a couple of dropped balls and the final penalty that gave Cheetahs flyhalf Willie du Plessis the chance to kick the points to draw the game.

That being said, Esterhuizen was abrasive on both defence and attack and rounded off the Sharks’ penultimate try, doing what they have failed to do on many occasions.

There is no doubt he is a prospect for the future. Fullback Tim Swiel also played well and used those “twinkle toes” that Coach Brad Macleod-Henderson spoke about to good effect.

The Sharks just need to cut out the errors, aim for accuracy and be a bit more patient on attack.

Results: Saturday


Free State Cheetahs 30 - 30 Sharks

Griquas 31 - 27 Pumas


Eastern Province Kings 13 - 28 Blue Bulls.

P W L D PD Pts

WP 6 5 0 1 92 24

Lions 6 4 0 2 69 20

Pumas 6 4 0 2 28 19

Sharks 6 3 1 2 14 16

Cheetahs 6 2 1 3 -6 14

Bulls 6 3 0 3 -27 14

Griquas 6 2 0 4 -36 11

Kings 6 0 0 6 -134 1

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