Reds aim to end African drought
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 14:48
Any win in South Africa is huge
Reds centre Mike Harris has underlined the importance of them ending their South African rut when they meet the Sharks this weekend.
The Reds are without a win in the Republic since defeating both the Stormers and Lions in their charge to the 2011 trophy and face a major test in Durban.
While making the play-offs in the past two seasons, The Reds' have struggled in recent times againt South african opponenets falling to the Sharks and Bulls in 2012 and were upset by the Stormers and Cheetahs last year.
Harris said successive wins over the Sharks and Lions, on Sunday week in Johannesburg, would be a "massive" boost to their 2014 aspirations.
"The last time the Reds had a couple of wins in South Africa it was 2011 and that was the year we went on to win the title," he said.
"Any win in South Africa is huge so we're not looking anywhere past this week, but it's a very tough place to win and a very hostile environment and crowds."
The Reds have not beaten the Sharks in Durban since a error-strewn 6-5 victory in 2004, and Jake White's team - boasting a Sprinbok-laden pack - will start as strong favourites following convincing wins over the Bulls, Hurricanes and Lions.
"They are definitely one of the top teams in the competition," Harris said.
"We're taking it as a massive challenge but also a great opportunity to build on our performance on the weekend.
"Although we were happy with some things, we probably leaked too many points against the Cheetahs and if we do that against the Sharks it won't be a good night for us."
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