White keeps his winning formula

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 07:04
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Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White subscribes to the adage that you don't change a winning formula.

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White subscribes to the adage that you don't change a winning formula.

White retained the same team that beat the Bulls last week for the Round Two Super Rugby encounter with the Hurricanes in Durban on Saturday.

Apart from the continuity that comes with an unchanged team, the Sharks will take a lot of confidence out of their impressive win over the Bulls - against a Hurricanes team that has been patchy in pre-season and will play their first competition match.

Add to that the fact that the Wellington-based franchise flew more that 14,000 kilometres for a two-match tour that will also see them face the Stormers, many pundits feel the Sharks will have a distinct advantage.

However, White pointed out that it is by choice that the Hurricanes tour so early in the season.

"Touring early for anyone is either very good or very bad," the Sharks mentor said.

"You can either get some points away from home then take those points back home, and some sides have proved that it works for them, or you miss out.

"The Hurricanes have asked SANZAR for this, because for the last couple of years they have been playing in South Africa first up.

"They want to tour early.

"So, it's probably one of their requests, because you're allowed certain requests to SANZAR. I'm sure they want to get their tour done and dusted early on.

"Obviously mentally they like to tour early and as much as we think it's a bonus [them coming here early], maybe it's what they want."

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 S'bura Sithole.

Date: Saturday, February 22
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Time: 17.05 (15.05 GMT; 04.05, AM Sunday, February 23 NZ time)
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Deon van Blommestein

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26