Sharks wary of Bulls' danger men

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:32

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sharks loose forward Keegan Daniel said he and his teammates are wary of the Blue Bulls' dangerous ball runners out wide.

The Sharks and the Bulls will meet in one of Saturday's Currie Cup semifinals at Kings Park in Durban. The other semifinal is in Cape Town where Western Province will take on the Golden Lions.

The Sharks and Bulls have had very different seasons with Robert du Preez's side finishing the league phase on top of the standings with 10 wins from 12 games, while the Bulls squeezed into the play-offs after seven losses and just five wins.

Despite the Bulls lack of wins, the visitors to Durban not only lead the try-scoring and overall ball-carrying statistics with 64 tries and 1 508 ball carries, they also boast the top try-scorer in fullback Warrick Gelant.

"I think finals rugby is a different kind of rugby," said Daniel. 

"I think they [Bulls] have improved immensely. I think with the work that Mitch [John Mitchell] has done with them they are not playing that old traditional style of Bulls rugby. 

"You can see in the way they are playing with the backs and forwards together and they are actually playing a nice brand of rugby and they got a couple of dangerous guys at the back that are finding their feet. 

"The talk of the town is obviously Warrick Gelant with the way he is playing, so he is quite a danger man out there at No.15."

The Sharks head into Saturday's play-off off the back of a 20-31 loss to Western Province last weekend and Daniel believes that result was a timely wake-up call for his side.

"We were definitely off-key by quite a bit. I think it was a game of two halves. 

"I thought we were in it in the first half and in the second half, they just ran away with it from us.

"We weren't tactically clinical. I think it was a good wake-up call. Having said that you still want to play well, so we will put that behind us and obviously the main focus now is knockout rugby," he added.

Daniel has plenty of experience in knockout rugby and he knows what it will take to get the win on Saturday.  

"The margins are so small and opportunities are very minimal, so it is about capitalising on that opportunities," said Daniel. "I think it’s the team that is going to be the most clinical and the execution. 

"It is not about the fancy plans, it just about doing the basics really well. We got a pretty good game plan that we stuck to and worked on the whole season and it is all about implementing it on the weekend and playing in the right areas."


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Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26