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Sharks face 'daunting' task

Sun, 20 Oct 2013 11:52
Lambie-pass.jpg630 Sharks-v-cheetahs-semi2 Sharks-v-cheetahs-semi3
We'll have to be on top of our game to win there
Quote-end

Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson admitted that travelling to Newlands for the Currie Cup Final is a 'daunting task'.

The Durban side saw off the Cheetahs in their Durban semifinal to set up a replay of last year's final, but this time it will be in Cape Town against the unbeaten defending champions.

"Going to Newlands is a daunting task, but we're looking forward to it. They're a quality outfit, they're unbeaten in the Currie Cup so far, so we'll have to be on top of our game to win there,” he said.

Macleod-Henderson highlighted the short 10-minute spell before half-time as crucial to helping them recover from a sluggish start to beat the Cheetahs.

Springbok utility back Patrick Lambie, who scored 23 points in total, was key during that period when he went over for a clever individual try and slotted over a conversion and two penalties.

“That (spell before half time) was crucial or us,” Macleod-Henderson said after the match.

“Before that I don't think we particularly played our best rugby and that was the kick-start we needed to move forward, go on and get the result.”

The home flyhalf, who has spent a large part of the past four months on the Springbok sidelines, was left on the bench last week, before being promoted to the starting XV this week.

“Pat was man-of-the-match and it was another fantastic display from him,” the Sharks coach said.

“His try at the end of the first half really got us going.

“But it just shows what a quality player Pat was tonight to guide us around the field and produce a performance like he did.”

Their opponents from Bloemfontein had started out far stronger with Pieter Labuschagne, one of three try scorers alongside Johann Sadie and Schalk van der Merwe.

But they failed to take more of their chances and were punished by the clinical hosts.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Macleod-Henderson.

“We maybe started the game a bit flat, but by the end of the first half there we kicked in. In the second half I think we played some nice stuff, so I'm very happy with the win," he added.

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