NSW Waratahs

Preview & teams: Shorks vs Tahs

Preview & teams: Shorks vs Tahs


What a crunch match – whoever loses this one is pretty much fucked for the semis, so expect a do or die belting.

The wheels have looked distincly wobbly on the Sharks season of late and the destabilisation has continued this week with a number of injuries and suspensions. Everyones fantasy 9 Kockett is out for bitch-slapping a Highlander last week and Steyn has been removed potentially for the rest of the S14 season through injury. In a crunch match these are significant losses as both are go to men for points from the boot.

On the flip slide the Tahs backline was probably at its most functional last week. All of a sudden there were a number of attacking options to keep defenders guessing and Tim Tam had his best game in a sky blue jersey so far. Throw Burgess back into the mix and Horne onto the wing could this be the game for it to fire?

Both packs are solid, but if TPN has a relatively good throwing day, I’d say the Tahs shade it in quality, as they do in weight.

I don’t think there’ll be much in it, but for the reasons above as well as Kings Park being a relatively happy hunting ground for the visitors, I’m tipping the Tahs on this one.

Gagger says: Tahs by 3

Venue: ABSA Stadium, Durban
Kick-off: Saturday 25 April, 3:00pm (Local), 11:00pm (AEST)
Referee: Mark Lawrence (RSA)
Sharks Stefan Terblanche, Odwa Ndungane, Adrian Jacobs, Brad Barritt, JP Pietersen, Ruan Pienaar, Charl McLeod, Ryan Kankowski, Jean Deysel, Jacques Botes, Johann Muller (Capt), Steven Sykes, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira,
Replacements John Smit, Deon Carstens, Albert van den Berg, Keegan Daniel, Monty Dumond, Riaan Swanepoel, Luzuko Vulindlu
Waratahs Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Alastair Baxter, Dean Mumm, Will Caldwell, Ben Mowen, Phil Waugh, Wycliff Palu, Luke Burgess, Daniel Halangahu, Lote Tuqiri, Kurtley Beale, Timana Tahu, Robert Horne, Lachlan Turner.
Replacements Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Chris Thomson, Luke Doherty, Brett Sheehan, Peter Playford, Tom Carter.
NSW Waratahs

Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

More in NSW Waratahs