Accuracy and decision-making cost us
Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford is adamant that his team knows what it takes to beat the Cheetahs when they face the Bloemfontein side in Durban on Saturday.
The Sharks head on a gruelling four week tour of Australasia after their game this weekend and the assistant coach stressed how important it is to get a win before they hit the road.
"It’s always nice to get on the aeroplane with a win under the belt, it sets the tone nicely for the tour, but right now all we can do is get our preparation right.
"We know how to prepare for the Cheetahs, we know their strengths and certainly what we can expect from them and from our side it’s making sure we do our things right and hopefully the rest will take care of itself," Bashford added.
The Sharks’ attacking abilities have come into question again over the past two weeks as they haven't been able to score a try in their last two games, and there are a number of contributing factors to this, none more important than decision making.
"Accuracy and decision-making cost us.
"Our set-piece battled at times and when we were put under pressure with continuity in our own half, we gave away penalties," the assistant coach said.
The Sharks go into the game against the Cheetahs having already beaten them in Round One, but this Cheetahs team is a very different prospect from the side they took on at the beginning of the tournament.
The Cheetahs came off a five-game winning streak before they took on the Bulls last weekend, and after that loss they will be hoping to turn it around and prove that they aren't on a downward spiral.
"The Cheetahs were full of confidence going into the Bulls game, but having lost on the weekend, they will be bitterly disappointed which makes this weekend even more important for them," Bashford explained.
The Sharks have been a little disjointed this week with their Springboks being away at the training camp in Cape Town as well as a number of players still out injured.
"Our preparations are quite disrupted with our Boks being away at the Springbok training camp, so we’re going to have to prepare later in the week.
"But we know how to beat the Cheetahs and we’ll work very hard to get it right.
"We’ve been really unlucky with injuries and unfortunately they have been long term, not like gone today and back tomorrow, but weeks and months, so we have been stretched thinner than we would have liked," he mentioned.