'Pragmatic' Sharks out to tame Lions

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:43
Large robert du preez concerned 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sharks head coach Robert du Preez knows that his team will have to play some smart rugby to knock over the Golden Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The encounter is effectively a knockout match with the winner securing one of the two remaining play-off spots in this year's tournament.

Under Du Preez, the Sharks have been playing some adventurous rugby on attack, but they might opt for a more conservative approach against a Lions team that thrives in an open game.

"We have to have a pragmatic approach to the game," Du Preez told reporters in Durban this week.

"it is a final and the team that makes the least mistakes will have a good chance to win the game. That is how we are going to approach it."

Du Preez added: "It is going to take 80 minutes of concentration and using our opportunities. I am not too concerned about what they want to do, we are going to play our game.

"For us it is a game that we have to win to play in the semifinal. It is going to be a test."

While qualifying for the play-offs is the Sharks' top priority this week, Du Preez is eyeing the overall prize as just reward for his team's hard work during the Currie Cup campaign.  

"At the end of the day, winning trophies is really what Sharks rugby has always been about

"There is a lot of hard work that has gone into the last 10 weeks. A lot of the behind the scenes stuff is not always going to come through in your first season, but I am pleased with where we are as a team. 

"It is a fantastic group of players and they can just grow from here. This is just a start, so if we win the Currie Cup it will be the cherry on top," said Du Preez.

Sharks captain Keegan Daniel also praised the efforts of some of the youngsters in the team for their maturity in this season's campaign.

"You always want to see growth, it is not only about the new players," Said Daniel.

"We kind of formed a new team with Rob [Robert du Preez] and the style he wants to implement. 

"We wanted to take the 10-12 weeks this competition runs for and try to develop a new style and a new culture and new values, so we knew it was going to be a learning curve.

"We had an easy start to the competition with the teams that we have been playing and it got tougher and tougher. Having said that, the way the guys played against the [Eastern Province] Kings in that kind of conditions [wet], was a very good performance. 

"The way guys like Inny [-Christian Radebe] and Curwin [Bosch] managed the game [against the EP Kings] was really good. To see that coming out in a game, which could have got just got loose, was good to see."


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Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1