Captain Bismarck's plan
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:39
Carve him to pieces
Bismarck du Plessis has divided his team's season into manageable divisions in an attempt to control their own destiny in the 2014 season.
The Sharks have enjoyed one of the more favorable draws in the competition and the enigmatic captain feels it would be foolish not to take this advantage into consideration.
The Durban based team have spend five out of six games at home, their byes have come at good time and their tour is still coming up.
As such the Springbok hooker has reiterated the plan he had at the beginning of the season in order to manage his teams progress.
"I really think that what we said in beginning of season, we’ve broken the season down into two games, a bye, four games, a bye, three games then tour," Du Plessis said.
"We still have two more home games, to be in the play-offs, you really have to win your home games and win one or two away.
"We’re going up to Johannesburg to play our best rugby, attacking rugby this weekend.
The Sharks seem intent on playing an attacking brand of rugby this weekend in Johannesburg, but it does not mean that they are underrating Johan Ackermann's men.
"You must commend them, Ackermann is doing a good job there.
"They have a strong pack, we have played them, we know what to expect and we want to improve," Du Plessis added
Jake White has restated his captains sentiments in regards to playing an attacking style of rugby against the Lions.
"One area we spoke about when we came back is making sure our attack becomes a little bit more of a focus point," White said.
"We’re comfortable when we don’t have the ball, we’re comfortable to put people under pressure and strangle them at the breakdown, but from this block on, I want us to be comfortable with attacking as well.
The Sharks boss spoke of his confidence in his back three as an attacking base and believes the Lions could play into his trap if their renowned kicking game is slightly off.
"He [Marnitz Boshoff] needs to make sure he kicks well, if he kicks poorly and gives it to JP [Pietersen], Lwazi [Mvovo] and Odwa [Ndungane], they could be punished," White added.
"Just make sure he [Boshoff] kicks accurately, and if he doesn't like against the Crusaders, then I have a back three that can carve him to pieces."
The Sharks have gone back to consistency in selection with only Paul Jordaan, who returns from injury, replacing Heimar Williams on the bench in the matchday 23.
The return of Jordaan has not prompted the Sharks coach to slot him straight back in, he has instead praised the work of stand in centre, Sibusiso Sithole.
"I’m very happy with S’bura [Sithole], he’s proved himself against the Reds with a great backline, and the Waratahs with theirs, he’s held his own against teams who attack probably better than most teams.
"Paul [Jordaan] knows there is competition for places and if you have that, you have a healthy team.
"No assumptions that once he’s back he walks back into the team.
"The nice thing is the guys are putting their hands up and playing well and if that continues, there is pressure on everyone to play better," the coach concluded.
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