● The Sharks can defend. This is something that was discovered and impressed on South African rugby watchers last season. If there’ll be a measure of their improvement, it’ll lie in how they marry their attacking and defensive disciplines into a seamless union. The Sharks are well stocked in all departments and coach Robert du Preez will have some serious selection headaches. One of them will be explaining how his namesake son will be starting ahead of the capped Bok Curwin Bosch. The Sharks have two home games against the Waratahs and the Sunwolves before they head across the Indian Ocean. The Blues may be an unknown quantity but they should get the better of the Auckland-based side while collecting points in Melbourne and Canberra. Their trip to Wellington will be a tough one but they’ve avoided the Saders. The Sharks will bulldoze their way into the play-offs.