Sharks holding on to play-off dream

Tue, 21 May 2013 15:12
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Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis insists there is still a strong belief that the Durban strugglers can make the Super Rugby play-offs.
 

Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis insists there is still a strong belief that the Durban strugglers can make the Super Rugby play-offs.

He was speaking on Tuesday, ahead of what he described as "our most important game of the season" on Saturday.

The coastal franchise face fierce northern rivals, and South African conference leaders, the Bulls at Kings Park on the back of snapping a five-match losing streak against the Force at the weekend.

Although coach John Plumtree declared their season "dead" after their loss to the Reds in Brisbane, Du Plessis is adamant that they can still sneak into the knock-out stage of the competition.

"For sure [there's belief]. I mean stranger things have happened," he said after the first Sharks training session since returning from the forgettable Australasian tour.

"I think we're a team that can play well at home or away from home and I think we're a team that can deliver under pressure."

The Springbok front row forward also conceded that their pride was still hurting following their month-long trip, despite the 23-13 triumph in Perth.

"If we didn't win on the weekend, our season would have probably been over," he said.

"I think we wanted to play good rugby because we hadn't had the results that we aimed for.

"We wanted to play well to avoid losing six games in a row. I mean none of the guys here have ever lost six games in a row in a Sharks jersey. The guys have too much pride to roll over in that sense."

The Bulls are one of the form teams of the competition and currently sit second overall, while the Sharks are 10th overall, having been leaders little over a month ago.

They then lost to the Stormers, Cheetahs, Chiefs, Highlanders, and Reds, before the Force win.

Du Plessis admitted everyone was more upbeat following the victory.

"There were positives in the sense that we could have won all the games. But if you look at the black and white, the results are disappointing.

"I don't think the win itself boosted us, I just think we're a better team than to not win a game on tour. It was really our aim in that last game to play to our potential, that's what we did and we won.

"I think everybody feels a bit better and is less depressed now," he added.

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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