Planet Rugby

Preview: Sharks v Brumbies

15th March 2013 08:36

Share:

Odwa Ndungane Sharks v Brumbies 2012

Sharks v Brumbies: Plenty at stake

Although it's still early in the tournament, there's plenty at stake in Saturday's clash between the Sharks and Brumbies in Durban.

Along with the Bulls, they are the only unbeaten sides in the competition.

In 16 previous matches, both sides have won on eight occasions and the average score in all their matches since 1998 is 25-23 to the Brumbies.

But this statistic changes dramatically in Durban, where the Sharks have lost only once out of seven previous matches with the Brumbies - a 21-10 defeat in 2007. The average score at Kings Park is 25-18 to the home team.

Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards expects a tough battle but is confident the hosts can be victorious.

"We're in for a massive match this weekend and so are they," he said.

"It's a home match for us, that's the most important thing: the result is what it's all about playing at home. The guys also enjoy playing international opposition and the fact that they're on top of their conference means that we have to really focus.

"But the guys love the challenge and they can get easily motivated knowing they are in for a big game.

"The Brumbies show some South African styles with their driving mentality - they drive quite a bit - yet they also maintain their running patterns that they do so well.

"They're the leading Australian side which shows in their log position. The way they dismantled the Waratahs was fantastic for them and they played a great game.

"We know we have a lot of work to do, in all departments, but we're excited, we're playing an overseas side and we're really looking forward to it."

Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen is under no illusions about the task that awaits the 2001 and 2004 champions.

"The challenge of Super Rugby is that you need to be able to adapt your style to be able to play against Australian, South African and Kiwi sides," he said.

"This will be the biggest test of our season so far. The Sharks have been building into the season with wins.

"We know going up against last year's finalists on Saturday is tough and these next couple of weeks will be one of the biggest challenges we face this year."

Jake White's troops have not lost an away game since a 36-34 defeat to the Bulls in Pretoria last April. They will fancy their chances of maintaining that record as the Sharks have battled to score tries during their campaign.

In their three previous matches this season the home side have only crossed the whitewash on two occasions and both those tries were scored in their opener against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Prediction: Despite having home ground advantage, the Sharks' inability to score tries will prove their undoing. It will be a close affair but the Brumbies will win by four points!

The teams:

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

Brumbies 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Fotu Auelua, 7 George Smith, 6 Ben Mowen (c), 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Scott Fardy, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Clyde Rathbone.

Date: Saturday, March 16
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs Castres20:45
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs Griquas19:10
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs 33 - 32 CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00