Force v Sharks Super Rugby preview

The Sharks can equal the Bulls’ South African record of Super Rugby victories over Australian opposition when they take on the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

The Bulls have recorded 23 victories over Australian opponents in the history of the competition. The Sharks are on 22 wins – the same number of victories as recorded by the Stormers over teams from Australians.

The Bulls beat the Waratahs eight times, the Brumbies and Reds six times each and Western Force three times. The Sharks have preferred the Brumbies, securing seven wins over them, as well as six against the Reds, five against the Waratahs and four against the Western Force.

The Durban team’s biggest victory over an Australian opponent came in 2007, when they smashed the Reds, 59-16. Incidentally, the Bulls’ biggest win over a team from Australia was also recorded in 2007, when they crushed the Reds, 92-3.

Their most recent success against an Australian franchise was against their opponents for Saturday – the Western Force – whom they beat 27-22 in Durban during last year’s competition.

The Force have only played the Sharks five times and in those five matches they have only won once. Ironically the year that the Force beat the Sharks was 2007 when the Sharks reached – and hosted – the Super 14 final.

This means that the Sharks have an 80% success rate against the Force. On average the Force score 18 points and the Sharks score 24 points. The Teams have met twice in Perth before and both times the winner scored 22 points.

Both teams are unbeaten going into this match but the Sharks have played two and won two while the Force have only played one match as they had the bye last weekend.

In the Force’s Round one victory over the Reds they were methodical and Pocock was selective in the rucks that he attacked but very effective. It is difficult to judge the Force’s form after one match. At home they have won 41 per cent of their matches compared to 32 per cent of matches away from home so home advantage is not worth too much for the Force.

The Bookies have given the Force a 4 point start. As the Sharks are a little more settled having played two matches we are going to predict that the Sharks will win by 6 points.

Last five results
Fri, 14 May 2010 Force v Sharks 22-27 Durban
Sat, 21 Mar 2009 Force v Sharks 10-22 Perth
Fri, 15 Feb 2008 Force v Sharks 10-17 Durban
Fri, 30 Mar 2007 Force v Sharks 22-12 Perth
Fri, 12 May 2006 Force v Sharks 25-41 Durban

Force’s overall record against the Sharks
Played 5 , Wins 1, Losses 4, Draws 0

Match No. 19 Force v Sharks
Date :Saturday 5 March
Venue : Perth
Kick Off local: 19:05
Kick Off GMT: 11:05
Referee: Keith Brown
Assistant Ref 1:Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2:Andrew Lees
TMO :Julian Pritchard


Western Force :1. Pek Cowan,2. Ben Whittaker,3. Tim Fairbrother,4. Ben McCalman,5. Nathan Sharpe,6. Matt Hodgson,7. David Pocock,8. Richard Brown,9. Brett Sheehan,10. James O’Connor,11. David Smith,12. Gene Fairbanks,13. Mitch Inman,14. Nick Cummins,15. Cameron Shepherd

Reserves:16. Nathan Charles,17. Matt Dunning,18. Sam Wykes,19. Tevita Metuisela,20. James Stannard,21. Alfie Mafi,22. Rory Sidey

Sharks:1. Tendai Mtawarira , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 4. Steven Sykes , 5. Alistair Hargreaves , 6. Keegan Daniel , 7. Willem Alberts , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 9. Charl McLeod , 10. Patrick Lambie , 11. JP Pietersen , 12. Meyer Bosman , 13. Stefan

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