Sharks head into long, hard slog

Tue, 02 Apr 2013 08:23
Large pieter steph du toit

The Sharks begin a gruelling eight week period when they take on the high-flying Crusaders at Kings Park on Friday evening.

The Sharks begin a gruelling eight week period when they take on the high-flying Crusaders at Kings Park on Friday evening.

Their itinerary consists of fixtures against the Crusaders, Stormers and the Cheetahs before they head on their four-week tour of Australia and New Zealand.

The Sharks had their bye this last week and assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards highlighted the importance of the three games leading up to their tour.

"All three of these matches are absolutely vital for our campaign.

"And every match against the Crusaders is a passionate clash, they have arguably been New Zealand’s best side in the history of the competition and a side that our guys measure themselves against," he stressed.

The Sharks produced an incredibly dominant display when they destroyed the below-par Rebels in their last outing, which will give them confidence heading into this tough period.

"It is certainly nice that the bounce of the ball has gone our way and we can go into the Crusaders’ game having ticked a few boxes that we haven’t in the past.

"The confidence is there and we’ve removed much of the doubt," Reece-Edwards explained.

The Durban side will feel more relieved that they have got the try-scoring monkey off their back but will feel aggrieved that they have missed out on a couple of bonus points.

"At this stage of the competition, we’re probably a bonus point or two short, but we’ll take four wins out of five.

"We have three games before touring and there are some targets set, we also have to look at bonus points along the line," he said.

The Sharks, aware of their tough schedule, will be encouraged with the return of a number of top players during this eight week period.

"We should also get Bismarck du Plessis, Willem Alberts, Butch James, Jean Deysel and Tim Whitehead back.

"Getting those five back is a third of your team back and it freshens up a few people.

"It will be good for us," the assistant coach added.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4