Sykes psyched for Sharks clash

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 16:23
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Kings lock Steven Sykes is looking forward to playing against his former teammates when the Super Rugby newcomers face the Sharks on Saturday.

Southern Kings lock Steven Sykes is looking forward to playing against his former teammates when the Super Rugby newcomers face the Sharks on Saturday.

Sykes joined the Port Elizabeth franchise from the Sharks on a two-year deal as one of their marquee signings and was instrumental in their debut victory over the Western Force a fortnight ago.

The 28-year-old, who hails from Cradock in the Eastern Cape, began his career at the Sharks in 2005 and went on to become a two-time Currie Cup winner with the Durban team, who he represented in 109 Currie Cup and 69 Super Rugby matches.

The second row forward signed a three-year deal with Leinster but was released by the Irish club after just four appearances and rejoined the Sharks on a one-year contract before he opted to return to his roots by linking up with the Kings.

The move reunited Sykes with former Sharks teammate, Andries Strauss, who traded Bloemfontein for Port Elizabeth after two years at the Cheetahs, and the experienced pair form part of the leadership group of the Kings.

Sykes said he is relishing the encounter and believes they have earned the respect of the visitors as well as the other teams in the competition with their gutsy 22-10 home win.

“I think the people will treat us with a bit more respect than what they had before the season. I think we did very well in the first game that we played and we showed that we are here and we are here to stay. I don’t think people will send their second string sides down to us, so it’s a nice challenge for us as well,” Sykes said.

He added that he is also looking forward to playing in front of a full house at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“The atmosphere at the game against the Force was amazing, probably the best I’ve experienced, and I am hoping that everyone will come out and support us again as we take on the Sharks,” he said.

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Fri, 28 October 2016
Ulster v Munster 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
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Northampton Saints v Gloucester 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 29 October 2016
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Allianz Park
Ospreys v Dragons 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Leinster v Connacht 16h15 RDS Arena
Sun, 30 October 2016
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Sale Sharks 15h00 Ashton Gate
Exeter Chiefs v Bath 15h00 Sandy Park
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9