Rejuvenated Sharks face tough hurdles

Sun, 30 Jul 2017 19:10

CURRIE CUP REACTION: The Sharks may have opened their account at the weekend, but the hill they are climbing is just getting steeper.

After an opening round 12-47 loss to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, the Sharks bounced back with a 29-0 bonus-point victory over the Pumas in Durban at the weekend.

Despite an error-riddled first half, the Durban-based outfit scored four unanswered second-half tries and kept the visitors scoreless.

Coach Robert du Preez admitted the first half was not good, because of "too many errors".

"The second half was much better," he said, adding: "I am really pleased with the second half.

"The four [second-half] tries we scored were really good.

"We also kept them out [scoreless] and that was one of our goals for this game."

However, with the start of the South Africa's premier domestic competition, the Currie Cup, and the closing stages of Super Rugby running at the same time, it is testing the coach's ability to manage his resources.

"We are coming off a big [Super Rugby] game the previous week and then straight into the Currie Cup,"Du Preez said.

"It requires a lot of work.

"It is a new campaign, so it is quite tough.

"Seven players have left us and there are new combinations."

He described the win at the weekend as an opportunity to "build some momentum".

"Things will only get better from here. We have a nice squad, a young squad and it will stand us in good stead going forward."

The Sharks have a very tough road ahead.

They are hosting Griquas this coming Friday and then face the Blues Bulls and Golden Lions (both away).

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 25 August 2017
Pumas v Blue Bulls 17h00 Nelspruit
Sat, 26 August 2017
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Dunedin
Western Province v Sharks 13h00 Newlands
Free State Cheetahs v Golden Lions 15h15 Bloemfontein
Argentina v South Africa 17h30 Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 5 4 0 1 21
Sharks 5 4 0 1 20
Western Province 5 3 0 2 16
Blue Bulls 5 2 0 3 14
Griquas 6 2 0 4 14
Pumas 5 2 0 3 10
Golden Lions 5 1 0 4 9