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, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
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