Sharks reaping rotation rewards

Tue, 03 Sep 2013 15:43
Large jacques botes points Large odwandunganesharkstraining3 Large tim whitehead sharks

Sharks captain Jacques Botes feels the new coaching staff's team selection process is one of the reasons they are thriving this season.

Sharks captain Jacques Botes has credited the new coaching staff for the way they control their team selection process and said it was one of the reasons they were thriving this season.

The coastal side are currently top of the Currie Cup standings having won their past three games following their shocking start to the competition, which began with a surprise home loss to Griquas at the start of last month.

That loss raised many questions over the Brendan Venter-led coaching era.

“One of the good things that came out of the new coaching philosophy is that there is a rotation process, we all know upfront exactly where we stand, when we're going to play, what's expected of us,” Botes said on Tuesday.

“It's not just a 22-man game, but a squad game, using 35 or 40 guys, or hopefully not that many.

“Ultimately, during the tournament we hope to use 30 to 32 players and everyone will get a go and an opportunity to stake a claim for a starting spot.”

Botes, who has taken over the captaincy from Keegan Daniel, also revealed that jostling for positions in the team was now rife.

“That kind of competition is excellent because it brings out the best in each individual, you can't rest on your laurels and it's the right way forward in the professional game, to make sure there is enough depth and quality back-up in case of injury or loss of form,” he said.

Since that initial loss at Kings Park, the Sharks have beaten the Golden Lions, Free State Cheetahs and the Blue Bulls ahead of their final first round meeting with Western Province in Cape Town this week.

Botes revealed that the win over the Cheetahs in particular had been vital to their season so far.

“We have enjoyed a nice string of victories, that always builds momentum and the guys have taken a lot of confidence out of that,” he said.

“We especially took a lot of confidence out of that Cheetahs win away and we were very happy about the four tries in our win over the Blue Bulls last weekend.

“But we know we have a massive task this weekend against Province down in Cape Town.”

Botes said the team's set pieces were one area which still needed improvement in their play.

“With a new coaching set-up and a fairly new team, there are many things we're working on.

“Some of our play has been really good, at times our defence has been very good, but in saying that, there is always room for improvement.”

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Odwa Ndungane suffered a recurrence to a hamstring injury he had sustained earlier in the competition and would miss the trip to the Cape.

Tim Whitehead, however, was fit again after a rib problem.

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 9 9 0 0 43
Blue Bulls 9 7 0 2 34
Western Province 9 6 0 3 30
Free State Cheetahs 9 3 1 5 21
Sharks 9 4 0 5 19
Pumas 9 3 1 5 16
EP Kings 9 2 0 7 12
Griquas 9 1 0 8 8