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Sharks and Bulls set to meet in Round 1 of Super14

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The Sharks and the Bulls are set for an re-enactment of their epic Super 14 final last year when the 2009 series kicks off in February next year.


In the proposed draft fixtures circulated to the franchises the two sides will meet in Durban on February 6 in the first round of the competition which will most probably see play-offs between the top six sides and not the top four as has been the case until now.


The Cheetahs and the Stormers will be involved in another derby in the first round and the Lions will be at home against the Waratahs.


The Cheetahs are the first South African side to play overseas in 2009’s Super 14. They meet the Force on February 20 – the first of five matches on the road with the Reds, Hurricanes, Blues and the Highlanders to follow over the next four weekends.


They are followed by the Sharks who meet the Chiefs in Hamilton on February 27. They have another three matches in the Antipodes over the following three weekends.


The Bulls have five games overseas, the first on March 20 against the Hurricanes in Wellington followed by the Highlanders, Crusaders, Waratahs and Brumbies.


This time it is the Stormers that get the short end of the stick. They play Crusaders in New Zealand before returning to Australia for matches against the Waratahs and Brumbies before another trans-Tasman trip to play the Hurricanes and Highlanders in New Zealand.


The Lions’ overseas matches are against the Chiefs, Blues, Reds and Force on four consecutive weekends starting on April 4.


As it now stands most matches on the draft fixture list are scheduled for Friday, but this is bound to be reviewed and revised when the Sanzar committee meets in Sydney on October 15 to discuss the competition.


Other issues that will be on the table will include the set of ELVs to be used with South Africa strongly favouring the international ELVs in order to be prepared for the British and Irish Lions tour just after the Super 14.


The Waratahs are also upset that, due to the intricacies involved in fitting in the extended competition before the Lions tour, they will have to make two trips to South Africa – a first for any side from Australia or New Zealand since the inception of the competition in 1996..


The new proposed play-off structure, with the fourth to sixth teams on the log playing to determine which two will go in to the semifinals against the top two log finishers, will also be discussed and refined.

 

A Copy of the draft shedule that we have been sent can be see HERE.

 

Sapa – Super14.com

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