Newlands is a sell-out for Sharks match



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The Super 14 crunch match between the Stormers and the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday will be a sell out.

Organisers revealed that by late Friday afternoon, only 300 standing room tickets remained in a stadium with a capacity of 51,000.

They expect the ‘sold out’ signs to be posted early on Saturday at the stadium.

The Stormers, currently in 10th place on the standings, want to finish their Super 14 campaign with a bang. Victory could see them move up to eighth place.

However, for the Sharks a lot more is at stake. A win will see the Durban-based franchise finish first on the standings and host a home semi-final and possible Final.

The Stormers, however, will go flat-out to spoil the Sharks’ party.

There will be no favours and no sentiment involved in Saturday’s clash, was the message from coach Kobus van der Merwe on Friday.

“We want to finish well at home,” Van der Merwe said.

“We are expecting an unbelievable crowd and the guys want to give our supporters something to cheer about.

“It was a long season and we started out poorly. It was tough, but we have a last chance to redeem ourselves. The Sharks are the only team who have not lost against a South African team this year and they are the in-form team.

“For us it is important to finish well. We are not going into this game with the idea of assisting them to a home semi-final. We want to win to conclude the season on a high note.”

Van der Merwe said the pack and inside centre De Wet Barry have massive roles to play for the Stormers on Saturday.

“Yes, the tight five will be tested on Saturday.

“The Sharks use the drive and rolling maul a lot and that is a factor we need to consider. They also have quality players who can finish at the back, such as JP Pietersen, Percy Montgomery and those young centres. Frans Steyn is an amazing player.

“We cannot afford to give them turnover ball. They are dangerous once they start putting the ball through the phases. It all starts with the tight five and how we can measure up against them there.”

Barry played excellent rugby for the Stormers after starting the season on the bench. And his coach expects a big contribution from him.

“I must say, De Wet is currently playing some of the best rugby he has played in a long while. He is sharp and his ball distribution has improved immensely. He gives a lot of direction with his experience.

“His tackling has always been one of his strong points, but he tackles again as if he was much younger. He is playing great rugby and we will depend on him a lot on Saturday.”

Barry’s battle with Sharks midfield stars Waylon Murray and Brad Barritt could be one of the highlights of the match.

Van der Merwe admits his team will going into the game as the underdogs, but believes the stage is set for them to exit the scene with a really good performance.


365 Digital

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