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The Sharks

Lubabalo Mtembu

Lubabalo “Tera” Mtembu

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has commended the Sharks rugby team for their appointment on Tuesday of Lubabalo Mtembu as the team’s first black captain.

“The decision to appoint Mtembu is a clear sign that the Sharks rugby team is serious about the transformation of the sport which has been one of the thorny issues since the advent our democratic dispensation in 1994,” African National Congress provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said in a statement.

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Brian van Zyl

Brian van Zyl

The Sharks face allegations of maladministration from a report set to be presented to a senior employee on Monday.

The report was conducted by the Durban franchise’s auditing company, KPMG, and has been labelled as “potentially explosive”.

The allegations are believed to revolve around unauthorised benefits being handed to at least one senior staff member, but could spill over into other areas of the company.

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Etienne FynnSharksFormer Springbok prop Etienne Fynn has been appointed as the new head of the Sharks Academy, reports Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

Fynn, himself a former Shark and current Sharks Under-21 coach, takes over as Academy MD from Hans Scriba, who has taken up a position with the SA Rugby Union (SARU).

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Frans SteynSharks centre Francois Steyn is set to undergo minor surgery that will rule him out of action for at least three weeks.

Steyn, 26, underwent surgery in May this year after he injured his leg playing for the Sharks against the Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition.

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SharksABSA Currie CupScrumhalf Charl McLeod scored a brace of tries as The Sharks maintained the recent trend of underdogs winning Absa Currie Cup finals as they out-thought and out-played Western Province on their way to a 33-19 win in the domestic season showpiece in front of a packed Newlands.

The Sharks, who led 19-13 at halftime, were never headed in the game and on the day thoroughly deserved the win that secures the Durban union its seventh Currie Cup trophy. In terms of the achievement, with The Sharks having changed their coach only a few months ago and having to travel to win the final, this was one of their most famous wins.

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ABSA Currie CupHere we are, the final week of the 2013 Currie Cup season. This has been one of those seasons where we look back and say that there was never a dull moment. Some new young talent came to the party and showed us that there is still a great big future for SA Rugby.

As always every rugby supporter in South Africa has picked his or her team to support on Saturday. This is what makes the Currie Cup such a great competition. There are only two teams left and the whole of the nation has a team to support between the two. It is also in this time that people go a little crazy driving down the streets waving flags, hooting at each other, drinking and having a braai together.

So lets get to business. On Friday we will see the Pumas host the Griquas in the 2nd and last Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation game. The Pumas showed last weekend that they can cause an upset here and maybe get back into the Premier Division for 2014.

In the main event of the weekend, we see a Currie Cup Final with a familiar sight for for a second time when Western Province and The Sharks go into battle. This should be yet another epic Currie Cup Final, as most people will agree that the best two teams of this year’s Currie Cup is in the final.

Newlands Stadium in Cape Town is sold out for the occasion!

So folks, hold on to your seats… IT”S GOING TO BE A BUMPY RIDE!

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ABSA Currie CupOnly 5 days remain before the Currie Cup final where we will see DHL Western Province take on The Sharks.

There has been quite a debate going on since Saturday and everyone has their views and thoughts on who the victor will be.

Put your skills to the test here to predict who will eventually walk away with glory and the bragging rights in the competition for 2013. Voting is open to Guests and Members of Rugby-Talk.

 

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Voting for the Poll will close at 17:15 on Saturday 26 October 2013.

ABSA Currie CupDHL Western Province and The Sharks on Saturday booked their places in the Absa Currie Cup final in Cape Town next week following well-deserved victories in their semifinals against the MTN Golden Lions and Toyota Free State Cheetahs respectively.

Defending champions, Western Province, automatically earned a home final with their 33-16 victory against the Lions at DHL Newlands after finishing the round-robin stages as the top team, while the Sharks defeated the Cheetahs 33-22 at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban.

Next week’s match-up will mark the second successive showdown between the teams in the Absa Currie Cup final, while it will also mark the Sharks’ fourth successive final appearance.

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ABSA Currie CupIt is just before the Semi-Finals of the Currie Cup Premier Division competition of 2013 in South Africa.

Only 4 teams are still in it to win the competition.

Put your skills to the test here to predict who will eventually walk away with glory and the bragging rights in the competition for 2013. Voting is open to Readers and Registered Subscribers of Rugby-Talk.

 

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Voting for the Poll will close just prior to the advent of the 1st Semi-Final, on Saturday 19 October 2013.

ABSA Currie CupSo, we find ourselves close to the end of yet another great Currie Cup season, but don’t get sad because there are still 5 big Currie Cup clashes left – 2 Promotion / Relegation matches, 2 semi-finals and the BIG Currie Cup final.

Our starter for the weekend will be a Promotion / Relegation match on Friday evening between GWK Griquas and Steval Pumas in Kimberley. This will be followed by two main courses on Saturday. The one course will be served Newlands style with a side of “big hits”, whilst the second course will be served Kings Park style with a side of “open and running rugby”. Desert will be a choice between pure bliss or extreme sadness, depending on main course selection.

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SharksFrancois SteynThe Shark have named close on their strongest starting line-up for Saturday’s Absa semi-final clash with Free State as they look to emulate four of the past five campaigns.

The Sharks featured in the 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 finals and will be hoping to make it a fifth appointment (seeking their third victorious campaign after titles in 2008 and 2010) this year if they can see off Free State’s challenge.

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Rudolf StraeuliMTN Golden LionsRudolf Straeuli’s reported shift from Kings Park to Ellis Park is not a done deal yet, but there are plenty of good reasons why it will happen.

Golden Lions Rugby Union CEO Manie Booysen confirmed to this website that they are “in conversation” with Straeuli at this stage.

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Craig BurdenWhilst it is already old news that Craig Burden was planning a move to French giants, Toulon, it has now been confirmed that he has been signed by European champions Toulon as cover for the injured Sebastien Bruno.

The 28-year-old uncapped Springbok, who has played at the Sharks since 2006, could make his debut in the European Cup next weekend.

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ABSA Currie CupThe round-robin stages of the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division this weekend reached an exciting conclusion, as DHL Western Province maintained their unbeaten run to retain the No1 spot on the log, while the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and MTN Golden Lions secured their semifinal berths.

DHL Western Province will host the MTN Golden Lions in the first semifinal in Cape Town next Saturday, while The Sharks will meet the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Durban in the other pay-off match.

The Lions and Cheetahs finished the league stages level on 26 log points thanks to the four-try bonus point bagged by the Johannesburg team in their clash against GWK Griquas.

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ABSA Currie CupWhat a final round of Currie Cup rugby this is turning out to be. At one end of the table we have the Sharks and Western Province battling each other for the number one spot and at the other end we have the Free State Cheetahs and the Blue Bulls playing for the final semi final spot.

The Golden Lions are also by no means safe. If they lose to the Griquas and do not score any bonus points and the Blue Bulls manage a win, then the Golden Lions could find themselves in 5th place. This does not seem likely, taking current form into account.

This is the last weekend of the pool stages and it is turning into a quasi-play-off weekend, with the top two teams battling for 1st place and 3 teams competing for the last two semi final spots. What more can we ask for.

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SharksThe Sharks have announced their team to face DHL Western Province on Saturday 12 October 2013 at Kings Park. The match will start at 19:10 SA Time.

The referee for the match will be Jonathan Kaplan, assisted by Jason Jaftha and Reuben Rossow and with Shaun Veldsman in the TMO box.

Patrick Lambie is the only returning Springbok to play from the bench, considering that Willem Alberts is injured and not in the matchday 22.

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Jake WhiteBrumbiesJake White has gloated he has got his ”dream” job in South Africa after walking out on the Brumbies, but another Super Rugby head coach – Damien Hill – is on the list of candidates to join the ACT coaching staff next season.

It’s understood White paid the Brumbies a six-figure amount in compensation to seek an early release from his contract, clearing his way to join the Durban Sharks as coaching director.

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SharksSharks flanker Jean Deysel has welcomed the return of their Springbok players to training this week ahead of their final Currie Cup league phase clash against Western Province in Durban on Saturday.

Du Plessis brothers Jannie and Bismarck, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Tendai Mtawarira, Marcell Coetzee and Patrick Lambie were all back training at Kings Park on Tuesday morning and were expected to play some part in the top-of-the-table clash.

Willem Alberts, however, has been ruled out due to a neck injury he suffered against New Zealand in the final Rugby Championship game over the weekend.

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ABSA Currie CupSharksDHL WPWith The Rugby Championship now done and dusted, the Springbok players involved look set to be returning to their Provincial Unions and respective overseas Clubs to continue plying their trade.

This of course leaves Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer a worried man and wishing he was in the fortunate situation which the All Blacks coach finds himself, where the All Black players will rest some more before the November Internationals start (of course there is still the matter of a Bledisloe Cup encounter between the All Blacks and Wallabies to consider on 18 October).

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Brendan VenterDespite speculation that he is set to be replaced by Jake White, Sharks Director of Rugby Brendan Venter insists that he is intent on leaving a legacy in Durban.

New CEO John Smit invited Venter to play a similar role at the Sharks to the one Smit had, as a player, encountered at Saracens.

Venter is very clear about his goals in Durban as the Sharks look to build an environment that allows them to reach their potential.

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ABSA Currie CupAs we enter Round 9 of the Currie Cup Premier Division of 2013, the Sharks and WP find themselves topping the Log with 28 points each. The closest rival here is the Golden Lions who are on 21 points. With WP and the Sharks playing each other next weekend in the final match before the semi-finals, this weekend is a must win weekend end for both sides at the top.

The Blue Bulls, who are facing the Sharks, is in a must win situation for them if they would like to keep their semi-final hopes alive, as a win for the Free State Cheetahs this weekend could see an end to their Currie Cup season, if they lose.

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