The Sharks scrapped it up with the Bulls in Round 1 and came away victorious. A week later they travelled to Dunedin and dismantled the Highlanders 42-20. It is almost disrespectful that, ahead of a game against a Hurricanes side returning from Buenos Aires, that the Sharks are valued at around 29/10.
Bear in mind, the Sharks beat the Stormers during the Super Rugby warm ups, and the Stormers then went on to hammer the Hurricanes in the opening round of the tournament. While warm up games aren’t necessarily the best indicator, a two from two start including convincing win in New Zealand is.
The Sharks will be high on confidence and settled in New Zealand. The Hurricanes however, cast doubt on their quality in that opening Stormers match, and have come straight off a plane from Argentina to begin training. While they did beat the Jaguares, it was by no means a blowout, securing the victory through a last minute try.
I think history favours the Hurricanes even more than the home ground does. On paper the Sharks are better, on current form the Sharks are better. There is a confidence in the Sharks, and South African rugby as a whole, that suggest they won’t fall prey to New Zealand’s historical mental and home ground advantage. I certainly hope this is true, because most of my money will be behind the travelling side this weekend