'Sharks should be in the Final every year'

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:36

CURRIE CUP SPOTLIGHT: The Sharks are desperate to shake off the chokers tag which have been haunting them for years.

It has been four years since they last won any silverware, when they beat Western Province in the 2013 Currie Cup Final.

They have not reached the domestic play-offs since.

In Super Rugby they have not reached a Final since 2012 - the team who have reached the play-offs most without winning it. They have played in four finals, appeared in the semifinals on another four occasions and the preliminary play-offs (quarterfinals) twice.

However, veteran Sharks scrumhalf Michael Claassens said they can finally end their trophy drought this year.

Despite last week's hiccup against WP, Claassens feels the Sharks have it within them to beat the Blue Bulls in Durban on Saturday and host the Final.

"The Sharks are one of the top teams in South Africa, so they should be in the Final every year and they should be winning trophies," said the 34-year-old, who has eight Springbok caps.

"I think we are on the right track,"he said about [reaching the 2017 Currie Cup play-offs.

"The way we played in the Currie Cup showed that.

"It will be massive for this union if we could win the Currie Cup and that should be a starting point for Super Rugby as well."

He admitted the Bulls under John Mitchell pose a serious threat to their ambitions.

"The previous game we played them here it was wet, so it was difficult for the backs,"he said of the 18-5 win last month.

"They should be full of confidence as they have played well and scored a lot of tries [in their recent games].

"However, our defence has been a strength throughout the season.

"We have to make sure we are on top of that and work as a team."

He spoke of the limited number of opportunities you get in play-offs and added that, unlike last week, there will be no lack of motivation.

"If you can't turn up for a semifinal, you shouldn't play rugby," Claassens said, adding: "We shouldn't have the same problem we had last week."

@rugby365com

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