Sharks want to avoid embarrassment
INTERVIEW: Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold believes the Sunwolves have the potential to upset them on Friday, despite the Japanese team's record in their debut season of Super Rugby.
The Sharks, who are clear favourites to beat the Sunwolves, will secure their spot in this year's quarterfinals with win. However, they are not taking their opponents lightly.
"It has to be one of those performance where it has got be about our execution," said Gold.
"When you look at the Sunwolves, they work hard for their points and obviously their record at home is not shabby for a team in its first year. You just have to see what happened to the Stormers.
"For many reasons we are taking this game particularly seriously. We need to come out of this performance feeling confident, feeling that our combinations have worked - that the things that we are trying to do are working well leading into a quarterfinal."
Gold also warned that the Sunwolves might have extra motivation for the match seeing that it is coach Mark Hammett's final game in charge.
Hammett will return to New Zealand to take up a role as assistant coach of the Highlanders.
"They [Sunwolves] are physical guys and as you have seen that they have never really given up in any game that they have played in this year," Gold added.
"It is Mark Hammett's last game and there is no doubt that they are going to throw everything at it. They are going to be quite tough up front.
"I think we need to have our wits about us. We are going to have to work bloody hard in those first 20-35 minutes to wear them down and if we wear them down, we will have a good night.
"If we let it become a game of touch rugby and we are chasing all night long, then it is going to be a tough evening. I do believe that our destiny is in our hands."