The much anticipated clash between the Sharks and the Cheetahs produced the expected result, based on recent form. The score was exactly the same as in the earlier encounter in Bloemfontein. The significant change in the Cheetah’s approach of adopting, by adopting a more defensive “kick and charge” game plan, worked well for them. The Free State side returned to their winning ways, and continued their run of good form in this year’s competition. Ironically, I found it highly amusing that they won the game with a style of rugby which the Bulls are often criticised for. Never the less, it’s four points in the bag!
The Bulls took 5 points from their game but had to work hard for that bonus point as the Kings defence stood tall for most of the second half. I heard rumours from PE that the Kings returned back from the tour quite battered and bruised and the inclusion of players like Luke Watson was more forced then out of choice. The Bulls seemed to be executing their game plan with more precision and the form of Serfontein and Engelbreght in the midfield had a significant impact on the result.
Worryingly for the Stormers and the Sharks, must be that the Bulls and Cheetahs find themselves at the top of the South African conference. Both inland teams have already completed the overseas leg of their tournament, while the Stormers and Sharks are only going now. The Sharks normally tour well, and with their backs (no pun intended) against the wall, they will be a formidable force. The Stormers are aware of their precarious position, with eight of their points on the log coming from byes, and two tight matches as opening fixtures of their tour to Australasia.
From a South African rugby perspective, the amount of injuries in the Sharks camp is a worrying factor. I suspect the conditioning coach of the Sharks might have some explaining to do but the immediate future doesn’t look very rosy for them!
Hi All. It is good to be back from that wet little island just off the European mainland. I was able to follow some of the local sport there, and also leant a little more about English traditions.
Andy Murray on a winning streak gives the English huge joy. His recent form led to the following banner headline in the Independent:
“Dreadful Andy Murray beaten and booed at the Monte Carlo Masters – Scot to drop to No 3 in world after error-strewn defeat that denies him match-practice on clay.” Apparently, this reference to him being Scottish, rather than British, when he loses goes back to the time when he was asked whether he would support the England rugby team when they played Scotland. His response (“You must be joking”) has never been forgiven by the English media.
I kid thee not: check out this link: