One year ago Dick Muir arrived at Newlands and his young Sharks team took a 40-point beating. On Saturday expect Muir’s side to get the 40 points.
The two teams meet in the second round of the ABSA Currie Cup and the Sharks are heavily favoured to knock over a home team that reportedly stuttered to a 25-18 win against the Pumas. Don’t expect much more from a team, whose coaching staff is battling for survival with each game.
The Sharks were the best team in the Vodacom Super 14 and they will be the best team in the watered down domestic showpiece this season.
Muir has put together an exciting blend of youth and experience and national team call-ups have also not hampered the Sharks too much. They have lost John Smit, Albert van den Berg, Percy Montgomery and Brent Russell. Province have lost Eddie Andrews, Joe van Niekerk and Jean de Villiers. Province, though, have lost plenty more to injury and unavailability, none more so than Schalk Burger, while De Wet Barry is in the ridiculous situation of not being needed by the Bok coach, but not allowed to play ABSA Currie Cup rugby.
Barry situation does not make sense. Then again a lot about South African rugby never makes sense.
The Bones are picking a Sharks triumph, while in the northern derby the Bulls will give Loffie another reminder of the torture when coaching the Lions. Bulls to win by 15.
In the other two matches the Cheetahs will win against the Valke, while the Pumas should get a win in Kimberley against Griquas.