RUGBY NEWS - Apparently there was no sense of irony when behemoth Cell C Sharks prop Thomas du Toit told the Durban media that the best way to beat the Jaguares would be the same way you eat an elephant.
Du Toit was referring to the bit by bit nature with which someone who was so inclined would eat an elephant. A bit like running an ultra marathon, you have to compartmentalise and you can’t do it all in one go.
“They are a complete side, a test team, and they way to beat them is the same way you eat an elephant, meaning bit by bit,” said Du Toit on the eve of his team’s departure for Buenos Aires and the penultimate game in the league phase of Vodacom Super Rugby.
But apart from the fact that Du Toit is one of the few people you might imagine giving some thought to an elephant meal, there is irony in the comparison in the sense that if ever the Sharks faced a massive task, this is it. They drew with Crusaders in Christchurch when the hosts were missing several key players, but you’d expect the Jaguares to be eager to make sure of the one win they need to clinch top spot in the South African conference. Then they can rest players in preparation for the play-off phase when they play the Sunwolves the following week.
There is also the not small matter of the Jaguares having put more than 50 points past the Sharks on their home ground not long ago. If the Sharks do reverse that result it would be one of the most stunning turn-arounds in Super Rugby history.
Du Toit though thinks his team can do it, and he reckons that the Sharks have become well accustomed now to being on target with the task of overcoming the disadvantages of travelling a long way to play a tough opponent in a stadium where they enjoy voluble support.