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Sharks focussed on home run

Wed, 02 Jul 2014 07:33
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Pressure part of the territory
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The Sharks may play both their remaining league matches on the road, but victory in both could secure them a home run in the play-offs.

That means there will be extra pressure on the Sharks, especially now that they are no longer Super Rugby leaders.

However, Springbok prop Lourens Adriaanse said they will embrace that pressure.

The Durban-based franchise was overtaken by the Waratahs at the top of the table last week, with the Australians three points clear after comprehensively beating the Brumbies 39-8.

"I think so [there'll be extra pressure], but I think there's pressure in every game," Adriaanse said.

"It will be important to keep the focus on our own game, try to do the best we can and give ourselves the best opportunity to win."

Jake White's men face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this week, before hitting the road to take on the Stormers in Cape Town in the final Super Rugby round-robin game next weekend.

Victory in their last two matches would still ensure a top-two finish and a home semifinal, as well as hopes of hosting the August 2 Final.

It would also give the Sharks an additional bye on the first weekend of the play-offs.

"The way things stand, if we can win both games then we'll have a home semifinal," Adriaanse said.

"So the two games are very important for us."

The 26-year-old had played in every game for the Sharks this season, although all his appearances had been off the bench.

"I think the coach has managed the guys well through the season and used them the way he felt was best for the team.

"Going into the next few games, we'll have to see with the team selection. As a player you would hope to play a decent amount of rugby."

Adriaanse, who was in the Springbok squad for the recent June Tests without playing a single game, would come up against his former teammates this weekend and felt they would be psyched for the contest despite already being eliminated from the competition.

"The Cheetahs are a well-balanced side with threats all over the team," he said.

"They're dangerous from anywhere on the pitch and will be up for it.

"They'll be looking to build towards the Currie Cup and gain some momentum. The guys leaving will also have a point to prove, so they'll be dangerous."

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