Sharks could spring a surprise in this year's Super Rugby‚ says Bobo

Lukhanyo Am of the Cell C Sharks scores a vital try for the Sharks during the 2017 Super Rugby game between the Sharks and the Force at Kings Park, Durban on 6 May 2017. © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
Lukhanyo Am of the Cell C Sharks scores a vital try for the Sharks during the 2017 Super Rugby game between the Sharks and the Force at Kings Park, Durban on 6 May 2017. © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Former Springbok centre Gcobani Bobo says the Sharks could spring a surprise in this year's Super Rugby tournament.

The Sharks kick off their campaign against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday and it could be a rematch of epic proportions.

It was at the same ground against the same team in the quarter-finals where the Sharks bossed the game for large swathes‚ only to lose the game 23-21 to a 77th minute long-range Ruan Combrinck penalty.

The officiating in the game left a lot to be desired to a point where Sharks coach Robert du Preez only spent 90 seconds in the post-match match press conference.

The Sharks also added Dick Muir and Braam van Straaten to their coaching backroom staff.

“I think the Sharks will be the dark horses‚" Bobo said.

"As much as it was unfortunate for them to lose the Currie Cup final‚ the addition of Dick Muir in their coaching set-up will give more balance in terms of what Robert du Preez has been looking for.

"They've also recruited well and I think they also have depth in places where I think they lacked.

"I'm not going to write off anyone else.”

Whether the Lions will be a continuation of the Johan Ackermann template remains to be seen.

The Lions have managed to retain the core of the players that have done duty for them over the past two seasons.

However‚ current coach Syws de Bruin is a different rugby character as compared to Ackermann.

Bobo said the Lions would still be a tough team to deal with.

The Lions topped the log last season and played at home in all their play-off games at home.

However‚ they came up short in the final against a smart Crusaders side that became the first New Zealand side to win a Super Rugby final in South Africa.

“The Lions will always be the front runners because of their history‚" Bobo said.

"In the last two years‚ they've been quite exceptional and their levels of conditioning have been outstanding.

"I feel the Bulls will struggle because they need to get used to their new system and get used to John Mitchell.

"Mitchell will try to make sure these guys will immerse themselves in terms of his plans and what he wants to do.”

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