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Du Toit keeps learning his trade

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:48
Thomas-du-toit
It was a nice recovery
Quote-end
Sharks assistant coach Paul Anthony says that young prop sensation Thomas du Toit adapted quickly against the Griquas to fix up his scrumming woes.
 
The Sharks were put to the test in their 31-24 victory against the 14 man Griquas in Kimberley with the scrums being an early concern for the costal team.
 
19-year-old loosehead prop Du Toit has been earmarked as the next big sensation in the front row from Durban, but he was penalized heavily to start with on Saturday.
 
However, it did not take long for Du Toit to quickly realise where he was going wrong on the wet GWK surface.
 
“I think Thomas du Toit just set too far back, his legs were too far back and he slipped in the wet ground which was a bit unlucky, Anthony told the Sharks website.
 
"But once he brought his feet up closer, he sorted it out and our scrum was in great shape.
 
"We had a fantastic scrum just before the half-time whistle, managed a tighthead and scored a try right on the hooter which turned the game in our favour. 
 
"It was a nice recovery and I’m very happy there.”
 
The Sharks are a very new looking team compared to the Super Rugby setup with changes both in personnel and management - this has also meant a departure from a style of play linked to those missing players.
 
For Anthony, there were more positives than negatives in the Griquas game.
 
“We’re undoubtedly very happy,” he said. 
 
“I know people will say we were playing against 14 men, but I think that tightened them up a lot and they played a much tighter game which probably suits them because they have a really big pack of forwards. 
 
"But we fronted up against and created opportunities on the outside.
 
"Paul Jordaan received a lot of ball which is a good indicator for us that we’re trying to go somewhere.
 
"For a first game up, with a short turnaround time after Super Rugby, we’re very, very happy.”
 
The Sharks have every right to be happy even though the win was against one of the traditionally smaller unions.
 
The Griquas have been a bogey team for the men from Durban for some time now with Kimberley being a particularly hard place for the Sharks to walk away with points from.
 
“All teams have slipped up there - Bulls teams with top sides even - it’s easy to slip-up there, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
 
“People might say that playing against 14 men, we should have been looking for the bonus point try, but really, you go there, you win the game, you come home happy.
 
"We achieved that and we’re over the moon.”
 
The Sharks will now return home to await the Pumas who were the surprise winners of Round One after they upset the Free State Cheetahs in Nelspruit.
 
“The Pumas have earned the right to be in this competition, and by beating the Cheetahs on the weekend - and that is a quality Cheetahs side - they’ve shown that they can compete successfully at this level," Anthony continued.
 
“I know Jimmy Stonehouse well, we’re personal friends, and I know that his boys will always be up for it.
 
"They’ll come out firing, they always bring a lot of enthusiasm into their game and a desire to chase everything and as a coach, that’s exactly what you want.
 
"We’ll come up against that fantastic enthusiasm this weekend.
 
“We have no illusions about the fact that it’s going to be an absolute cruncher and we are going to really man-up for this one.”
 
On the injury front, the team came out of Saturday’s match without any major problems. 
 
He did confirm that they’re keeping an eye on Stephan Lewies, “otherwise there are no planned changes to the playing personnel.”
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