Sharks eyeing the high road

Wed, 16 Jan 2013 07:02
Large keegan daniel sunglasses630 Large steyn sharks 630

The Sharks are determined to make a more convincing start to the Super Rugby season after having to fight their way into the play-offs last year.

The Sharks are determined to make a more convincing start to the Super Rugby season after having to fight their way into the play-offs last year.

The Durban outfit struggled to find enough early season consistency in 2012 and found themselves scraping into the knock-out phase which resulted in a taxing travel schedule during the play-offs that saw them fall at the final hurdle against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Captain Keegan Daniel is adamant that his side have learnt a valuable lesson from that experience, and has called on them to start the competition on the front foot despite the notoriously humid and slippery conditions in Durban early in the year.

"We were consistent in the fact that we made finals, but in terms of our performances we probably weren't as consistent as we would have liked," the skipper said.

"We slipped up at times in the last competition, which put us under pressure towards the end. We want to be a lot more consistent in the way we perform in the games early on this season," he explained.

A notable absentee from full training was Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis, who remains sidelined after undergoing surgery to fix ligament damage in his right knee.

However, Frans Steyn is easing his way back to full swing after missing the last three months of the year through an ankle injury.

"Frans has started running again and is doing pretty well, he's right on schedule," Daniel said. "But Bismarck will take a bit longer, he had a big injury, but the medical team is working hard with him."

The Sharks also have two new experienced faces in their ranks in the shape of veteran flyhalf Butch James and lock Franco van der Merwe.

Daniel feels that the pair will add huge value to a side already filled with talent.

"Butch has been around, he's been here before and will fit back in easily and will add a lot of value. It's also good to have Franco here, he will add invaluable experience to the second row.

"You know we struggled a little there in the past. He's captained the Lions and has been in the Springbok squad recently, so it's good to have someone like that in the tight five," he added.

Despite the considerable talent pool in Durban, Daniel refuses to take anything for granted and knows his team will have to work hard to gain some early momentum this year.

"You can look at any squad and say it's a great squad with good depth, but at the end of the day you've got to put it all together on the field.

"But we do have some good young players who've come through nicely and spent one or two seasons playing Currie Cup or Super Rugby. Then the likes of Butch and Franco are just going to add to that," he said.

Coach John Plumtree's men play pre-campaign warm-up matches against the Leopards in Pietermaritzburg on February 8 and the Pumas in Nelspruit on February 15, before launching their Super Rugby season against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on February 23.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10
RELATED ARTICLES