Planet Rugby

Preview: Chiefs v Sharks

26th April 2013 07:48

Share:

Gareth Anscombe Chiefs 2013

Back in the XV: Gareth Anscombe

The Chiefs host the Sharks in a repeat of last year's Super Rugby final at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday, with both teams out of form.

It is the first time these two teams will meet since the Chiefs secured last year's title with a 37-6 victory, but unlike 2012, both sides have been inconsistent this season and are battling to return to their winning ways.

The Chiefs are currently in fifth position on the table, while the Sharks are in seventh place in the standings. Both sides have lost their last two matches - the Chiefs to the Reds and Waratahs and the Sharks to the Stormers and Cheetahs - and will head into this match low on confidence.

That should not detract from what should still be an entertaining spectacle, however. Both sides are exponents of the running game and don't expect them to deviate from that philosophy.

Chiefs boss Dave Rennie knows how important victory is for both teams.

"Last time when these two sides met it was a final, but they are completely different circumstances this time," he said.

The Sharks are a depleted unit, after injuries to several key players, but coach John Plumtree believes his side will have to forget what has happened in the last couple of weeks and focus on delivering a top class performance.

"We just have to dig in and do our best," he said.

"We've worked really hard on our game, trying to improve our game, trying to improve our attack, but it is really difficult with all these (injury) setbacks."

The track record of previous matches between these two teams reveals that the Chiefs hold a slight edge over the Durban-based franchise with nine victories to the Sharks seven wins in sixteen matches played.

The men from Hamilton hold a psychological edge over their opponents, however, as they have won the last four matches - including two wins in Durban in 2012 and 2010 - in which these teams played against each other.

The Sharks are desperate for a win after slipping out of the play-off positions last weekend while the Chiefs know a loss could see them also missing out on the knockout stages as the tournament heads towards its business end.

Prediction: Both sides will give everything to leave the field as victors which should make this a very close encounter. The Sharks' undoing could prove to be the long flight they undertook from Durban earlier this week. Chiefs to win by five points!

The teams:

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Nick Crosswell, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Michael Kainga, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Bundee Aki, 22 Charlie Ngatai.

Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Francois Steyn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Piet Lindeque, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean Deysel (c), 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Wiehahn Herbst.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Franco van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 S'bura Sithole.

Date: Saturday, April 27
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Venue: Waikato Stadium
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
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
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