It’s a flippin’ good time to be a Sharks supporter. The men in black and white have been far and away the standout side of Super Rugby so far, with their 24-14 win over the Stormers on the weekend maintaining their place at the summit of the overall standings heading into their first bye week.
The win also sees them go seven points clear of the Capetonians and Jaguares at the top of the South African conference. They may have played one game more, but they’d still take some hauling in from here on out.
Neutrality is always essential as a sportswriter, but it’s so bloody difficult when the team you’ve grown up supporting is playing such fantastic footy. After underperforming for so long, the Sharks under Sean Everitt seem to be truly clicking in 2020.
Lukhanyo Am even features as my new iPhone wallpaper. Obviously. Not since Jake White’s 2014 band have the Sharks legitimately looked like title-contenders. While there may be plenty of rounds still to come, the way things are at the moment, you’d be foolish to write the Durbanites off.
Their overseas tour was positively phenomenal, winning three from four and teeing them up nicely for the rest of the campaign.
Their backline, spearheaded by Curwin Bosch at 10, has been freakishly good, with the likes of Makazole Mapimpi and Aphelele Fassi running rampant from the back.
While the lineout remains something of a work in progress, Ox Nche, Kerron van Vuuren and Thomas du Toit proved against the Stormers just how beastly they are at scrum time, even without the actual Beast himself.
The franchise has infamously lost all four of the finals they’ve played in since Super Rugby began in 1996, with their heart-breaking ’07 loss to the Bulls at Kings Park still fresh in the memory.
While the competition has been postponed indefinitely if they can remain fresh and injury-free, the KwaZulu-Natalians should continue to fly the flag for SA. Perhaps even claim a first title for a Saffa side since the Bulls did it a decade ago.
If they do go on to host a Grand Final, best believe university can kiss me goodbye for that week. Ain’t nothing gonna stop me from missing another Super Rugby final at the Shark Tank.
Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.