2oceansvibe’s bi-weekly sports columnist, Sean Wilson, took some time out ahead of tomorrow’s titanic Super 15 final taking place between The Sharks and The Chiefs to share his reasons why The Sharks (should think they) will win.
The Sharks will definitely believe that they can win the Super Rugby final on Saturday because, well, why not?
Yes, there are plenty of factors that make their chances slimmer, but in the spirit of trying to do everything we can to support the team, let’s try to focus on the positives that the players can use. Maybe we should even try to turn some of the negatives into positives (even if the phrase belongs in some third-rate motivational booklet entitled something like 7 Steps To Channel Your More Confident You).
Jet lag, schmet lag.
Yes, we all know that in the space of just over two weeks they had to cross the Indian Ocean thrice (that last word is a homage to SuperSport’s Ashwin Willemse, but I refuse to call them the “Saarks”). So what?
According to in vogue sports scientist Ross Tucker, the combination of the Sharks’ recent fixture list and workload puts them at a 13-15 point disadvantage before they take the field (the differential is dependent on how many players choose the chicken instead of the fish on the flight).
In seriousness, the statistical analysis that Tucker shares is very interesting and from an impressively qualified viewpoint, but it’s probably not healthy for the psyche of the players to make this information too public before going into one of the biggest games of their lives.
Let’s just try and work with positive factors before the final. Yes the extra game takes more strain on the players, but there are elements of the Sharks’ game that have just got better and better as the tournament has progressed. After a more than dodgy start, it almost seems like they’ve just been getting warmed up the last few weeks.
As for constantly having to adapt to different time zones, what difference does it make when all the excitement surrounding the match makes you sleepless anyway? All Sharks fans have been too excited to get sleep all week, and might as well be operating on New Zealand time (the Stormers fans have been sleepless too, but for different reasons).
There are two ways of analysing this team. One way is to gawp in awe at some of the rugby they’ve played this year and share the viewpoint with the rest of the world that anything that comes out on top from New Zealand is sheer rugby utopia (I’ve suggested to the boys at Pocket Oxford that they create a word “kiwiphilia”, but the feedback has been mixed).
The other way is to define this team by their qualities that make them beatable.
Because they are beatable.
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