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.
     
SAPA

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26