Daniel calls for trophy hunt

Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:57
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Sharks captain Keegan Daniel is desperate get his hands on some silverware this weekend after suffering consecutive finals defeats as skipper.

Sharks captain Keegan Daniel is desperate get his hands on some silverware this weekend after suffering consecutive finals defeats as skipper.

The dynamic loose forward led the Durban side to both the Currie Cup Final last year and then the Super Rugby Final this year, both of which were lost away from home, and he admitted that he is determined to raise the Currie Cup at Kings Park on Saturday, whatever it takes.

"We've got to win a final and we're determined to do it and hopefully it will happen this time.

"Finals rugby you can win by one point or win by 40, it really doesn't matter, we just want to win," he said.

The Sharks face Western Province in a repeat of the 2010 Currie Cup Final, which was the last time they won any silverware, and Daniel said that his team's flawless home record this season has given them plenty of confidence for the clash on home soil.

"I think in any competition you have to win your home games to be in contention, anyone will tell you that and that's probably the biggest influence there is," Daniel said.

"I think the boys have done pretty well to get here, but we still need one big performance on Saturday.

The Bok loose forward said that having lost two consecutive finals away from home, his team is relishing the opportunity to take Province on at Kings Park.

"The last two years we weren't as consistent and you know that it's tough to win a final away from home," he said.

"You do have a slight edge when you do host a final.

"We travelled to the Lions last year and were under par and we've learnt lessons from that game.

"This year's Super Rugby we gave ourselves a chance, but at the end of the day the travel was just too much," he explained.

The Sharks reported a clean bill of health on Tuesday, meaning Springbok tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis was free to play after suffering a concussion in the 20-3 semifinal win over the Blue Bulls last week.

Their progress has been made all the more impressive considering they are one of the most heavily affected unions when it comes to Springbok call-ups.

Close to 10 players are regulars in the national squad and Daniel praised those who have stepped up in their absence.

"I think there were a couple of young guys in the first or second season that have really grown," he said.

"I think from where they were two years ago to now, they've not only matured as rugby players but individuals as well.

"It's shown in the way they've reacted in pressure situations and in big games," added Daniel.

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
Sharks 10 4 1 5 22
Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8