Planet Rugby

Preview: Sharks v Rebels

22nd March 2013 09:20

Share:

sharks

Sharks: Looking to bounce back from last week's defeat

The Sharks host their second Australian opposition in as many weeks at Kings Park on Saturday as the Rebels begin its annual swing through South Africa.

The Sharks have been travelling nicely with three wins from four starts this season. They were 3-0 for the better until they hit the form side of the competition, the Brumbies.

Having conceded four tries in the first half and managing just ten points in that game, they will surely be looking to atone for a heavy handed defeat with a big performance against the Rebels.

The Rebels haven't won since their Round One victory over the Western Force in Melbourne. They've lost every game since, despite leading at half-time on each occasion against the Waratahs, Brumbies and the Reds. They're developing a reputation for tiring, if not choking, after seemingly placing themselves in winning positions.

This game is a little strange in context. In a battle of sixth versus 12th, the Sharks are expected to be too powerful. Given the Rebels second-half fade outs, few will fancy their chances although they will field close to their best 15.

The game will likely be won or lost depending on fitness.

The Sharks forward pack could also be too powerful for the Rebels. Cadeyrn Neville (202cm, 120kg) and Chris Thompson (205cm, 120kg) - their two biggest players 0 have been overlooked in a match where size and strength counts.

Instead, the Rebels favour Luke Jones and Hugh Pyle which means the visitors may be hoping for a more mobile and agile pack to compensate for their lack of size.

The Sharks and Rebels haven't played each other since Round Four of the 2011 season, when the South Africans won thanks to a last-gasp try from Meyer Bosman. On that occasion the Rebels gave the Sharks an almighty scare before losing 34-32 at the death.

The Sharks may have to contain a similarly spirited opening stanza from their visitors. If they weather the storm early, the Rebels will tire as the game evolves.

Prediction: The Sharks have had their pride bruised. And with their heavy hitting fire power up front, will be difficult to stop. The Rebels backs may have more zip and could have the edge when the ball goes wide. But this battle will be won in the forwards. Sharks by 10!

The teams:

The Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Francois Steyn, 22 Riaan Viljoen.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Angus Roberts, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cadeyrn Neville, 19 Jordy Reid, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Richard Kingi.

Date: Saturday, 23 March
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17:05 (15:05 GMT)
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

By Paul Robertson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Preview
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26