Sharks vs Stormers Super Rugby Preview

For South Africans this is the big match of the weekend. It pits together the top two teams in South African Super Rugby and the tournament’s leader the Stormers.


The Stormers are the only team to remain unbeaten but they will have their work cut out for them if they are to hold on to that status this weekend.


The Sharks will be desperate to return to winning ways after consecutive defeats on tour, and their Super Rugby history suggests that this is likely to happen on Saturday when they host the Stormers.


The Durbanites have only lost twice in their first match back from tour in the last 10 years of Super Rugby – on both occasions against the Bulls, in 2003 (24-16) and in 2005 (23-17).


The Sharks have won eight of their previous 10 post-tour matches in Durban and have been in rampant mood in six of them, where they scored bonus points for four or more tries.


Last year, The Sharks secured a 30-28 victory against the Reds upon their return to Durban, while they ran in five tries to two during their 35-14 demolition against the Brumbies following their 2009 trip to Australasia.


John Plumtree’s team will be hoping to repeat these feats, as they have not yet recorded a try-scoring bonus point in Durban this season from their victories over the Cheetahs (24-9) and the Blues (26-12).


After winning their first two tour matches (39-12 against the Western Force and 34-32 against the Melbourne Rebels), the Sharks have lost their last two games, against the Crusaders in London (44-28) and the Chiefs in Hamilton (15-9).


The Sharks have won the last six matches between them and the Stormers. However before those six matches the Stormers went unbeaten by the Sharks for five matches so the overall stats are fairly similar as the two teams have played each other 13 times and the Sharks have won 7 and the Stormers 6.


Through those 13 matches the teams have scored on average 22 points each per match but in Durban the Sharks on average score 23 points and the Stormers 21.


The momentum is however currently with the Sharks as the Stormers have not tasted victory in Durban since 2004 and home advantage has a big value in Super rugby. If the Sharks do win it is unlikely that they will overtake the Stormers on the Super Rugby standings.


Looking at the way the Stormers matches have played out this match is very likely to be a kicking contest between Jacques-Louis Potgieter and Peter Grant. Let’s hope not.


The Bookies have given the Stormers a 1 point start – with an offer of Bet 10 and Get 20. We think the Sharks will be just that little bit more desperate and hungry to win this one and the Sharks should sneak it by 2 points.


Last five results
08 May 2010 Sharks v Stormers 20-14 Durban
14 Feb 2009 Sharks v Stormers 20-15 Cape Town
23 Feb 2008 Sharks v Stormers 12-10 Durban
05 May 2007 Sharks v Stormers 36-10 Cape Town
06 May 2006 Sharks v Stormers 24-17 Durban


Sharks overall record against Stormers
Played 13, Wins 7, Losses 6 , Draws 0


Match Officials
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
Assistant referee: Sindile Mayende (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)


Teams


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. Jacques-Louis Potgieter , 11. JP Pietersen , 12. Meyer Bosman , 13. Stefan Terblanche (Capt) , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 15. Louis Lud

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