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Match number five is the first South African conference match for the 2011 Super Rugby season and is between the Sharks and the Cheetahs in Durban.


Sharks vs Cheetahs


The Currie Cup champion Sharks team win 60 per cent of their matches at home in Super Rugby but against the Cheetahs that figure drops down to 33 per cent.


The Cheetahs are famous for struggling in Super Rugby but playing like a different team when they face another South African or Currie Cup team. However statistics don’t lie and they show that the Cheetahs have actually only won 40 per cent of their matches against all South African teams. It’s the big matches that the Cheetahs win against other South African teams which is why we remember them easier.


While the Cheetahs lose more matches than they win against South African teams in general during the five years that the Cheetahs have been in Super rugby they have beaten beaten the Sharks on 60 per cent of the occassions that the two teams have met. In two of the three Cheetahs visits to Durban they have come away as winners.


The Cheetahs are not quite a bogey team for the Sharks but they obviously have some kind of edge over them. When these two teams met last year it was also in Durban and the Cheetahs won.


This loss was the second of five matches in succession that were lost by the Sharks. Once they had stopped the losing steak they only lost one more match in the Super14 – against the Bulls who were crowned champions at the end of the season.


After Super rugby the Sharks went on to host and win the Currie Cup final which shows that they have been on a streak.


They did lose to the Stormers and the Lions in their warm up series but the warm ups are not always about the final scores.


In the warm up the Cheetahs had a very good result against the Southern Kings who had beaten the Bulls a week earlier. Juan Smith played in that match but he is missing this week and his absence is always felt by the Cheetahs.


The Cheetahs have a decent squad for Super Rugby in 2011 but their real test will come later as they have a good enough team but not too much in the way of depth.


The Sharks meanwhile have a settled squad and plenty of depth in most positions. Their big problem last year was at fly half but this year they have Patrick Lambie and Jacques-Louis Potgieter as cover.


The Sharks usually start slowly in Super rugby but they have never won a bonus point for scoring four tries in February probably due to the weather.


While the Cheetahs historically have an edge over the Sharks we think the Sharks should win this match.


The Bookies have given the Cheetahs a 13 point start for this match – Free £ 20 bet for all new customers. . We don’t think it will be as much as a 13 point victory for the Sharks and we are going to go with the Sharks to win by 9.


Sharks overall record against the Cheetahs
Played 5, Wins 2 , Losses 3, Draws 0


Last five results.
Fri, 19 Feb 2010 Sharks v Cheetahs 20-25 Durban
Sat, 11 Apr 2009 Sharks v Cheetahs 6-31 Bloemfontein
Sat, 10 May 2008 Sharks v Cheetahs 33-14 Durban
Sat, 10 Mar 2007 Sharks v Cheetahs 30-14 Bloemfontein
Sat, 18 Feb 2006 Sharks v Cheetahs 26-27 Durban


Match No5: Sharks vs Cheetahs
Date :Saturday 19 February
Venue : Durban
Kick Off local: 17:05
Kick Off GMT: 15:05
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1:James Leckie
Assistant Ref 2:Cobus Wessels
TMO : Shaun Veldsman


Teams


The Sharks :15. Louis Ludik , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. Stefan Terblanche , 12. Meyer Bosman , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Charl McLeod , 8. Ryan Kankowski , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Jacques Botes , 5. Alistair Hargreaves , 4. Steven Sykes , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 1. John Smit (C)


Replacements , 16. Tendai Mtawarira , 17. Eugene van Staden , 18. Anton Bresler , 19. Keegan Daniel , 20. Conrad Hoffmann , 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter , 22. Adrian Jacobs


Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Philip Burger, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Kabamba Floors, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.


Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Kobus Calldo, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Riaan Viljoen.

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