And with director of coaching Brenden Venter and CEO John Smit continuously mentioned, there’s nothing terribly wrong with an united effort. A composed Sharks outfit trumpeting professionalism undoubtedly holds a threat for the unbeaten Western Province tonight at their fortress Newlands.
While many will protest profusely it is referee Craig Joubert, assistant referees Marius van der Westhuizen and Marc van Zyl and TMO Deon van Blommestein who are again due to have the biggest influence on the eventual outcome. Please the referee, dominates the outcome, so to speak.
Province coach Allister Coetzee took time out this week to identify the new kicking approach by the Sharks, suffocating opposition, while the predictable ball-in-hand approach of his pack has remained a cornerstone in Coetzee’s coaching manual.
The former Bok backline coach also pointed out that new Sharks skipper Jacques Botes, alongside Keegan Daniel and the human tank, Jean Deysel, have been superb.
“They have a very competent loose trio of which two are Springboks,” said Coetzee.
The Sharks no doubt believe experience will be the big winner today, and introduced veteran Butch James ahead of the talented Fred Zeilinga, while the big tackling Tim Whitehead being preferred to Heimar Williams indicates a suffocation gameplan by the visitors. But Province have an attitude that can be testing to the best of approaches, whether they run at you through wings Cheslin Kolbe and fullback Gio Aplon, or take the forward approach where captain Deon Fourie has been monumental.
Kick-off is at 7.10pm.