Sharks vs Blues Super rugby preview

The Sharks have beaten the Blues in their last six matches and the Blues have not won in Durban since 2004.


On their last four visits to Durban the Blues have left as the losers. Overall the Sharks have the edge too as the teams have played 14 times and the Sharks have won 10 of those.


In these matches the Sharks normally score 25 points and the Blues usually score 21 points on average so the matches are generally quite close. A stats that cropped up last week still applies this week and that is that the Sharks have never scored a bonus point (four try) win in Durban in February.


Last week the Sharks secured a relatively comfortable victory against the Cheetahs who were heavily penalised at the scrum and they weren’t really tested.


Over in Auckland last week the Blues were heavily tested and looked almost certain to lose their first match until Keven Mealamu transformed into a bulldozer and scored a decisive try.


The Blues have been training in heavy humidity for the few weeks so the normal Durban thick air and humidity will be a little more familiar than usual.


This match should see a fantastic match up between Keven Mealamu and Bismarck du Plessis who could both put their hand up for the world’s best hooker at the present moment.


Both teams have named a largely unchanged team with some changes on the reserves bench.


The Bookies have given the Blues a 3.5 point start and have an offer of Bet £10 and get £ 20 in bets. They are predicting a Sharks win by four which is spot on looking historically. This match is so close and could go either way so we are going to go with home advantage and predict the Sharks to win by 3.


Sharks overall record against the Blues
Played 14, Wins 10, Losses 4 , Draws 0


Last five results
Sat, 24 Apr 2010 Sharks v Blues 23-10 Durban
Sat, 07 Mar 2009 Sharks v Blues 35-31 Auckland
Sat, 08 Mar 2008 Sharks v Blues 22-17 Durban
Sat, 12 May 2007 Semi Sharks v Blues 34-18 Durban
Sat, 14 Apr 2007 Sharks v Blues 32-25 Albany


Match No13: Sharks v Blues
Date Saturday 26 February
Venue : Durban
Kick Off local: 17:05
Kick Off GMT: 15:05
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 2:Reuben Rossouw
TMO:Johann Meuwesen


Teams


Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. Stefan Terblanche (C) , 12. Meyer Bosman , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Charl McLeod , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Keegan Daniel , 5. Alistair Hargreaves , 4. Steven Sykes , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 1. Tendai Mtawarira


Replacements: 16. John Smit , 17. Eugene van Staden , 18. Anton Bresler , 19. Jacques Botes / Lambert Groenewald , 20. Conrad Hoffmann , 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter


Blues: Isaia Toeava, Joe Rokocoko, Jared Payne, Benson Stanley, Rene Ranger, Stephen Brett, Alby Mathewson, Chris Lowrey, Daniel Braid, Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Anthony Boric, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (captain), Tony Woodcock.


Reserves: Tom McCartney, Charlie Faumuina, Kurtis Haiu, Luke Braid, Toby Morland, Luke McAlister, Sherwin Stowers.

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