Sharks build momentum for Lions clash

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 11:47

REACTION: Sharks head coach Robert du Preez believes his team's 38-30 victory over the Cheetahs was a good momentum builder for their clash against the Lions in Johannesburg next weekend.

After an unconvincing 19-17 win over the Southern Kings in Round Four, the Sharks bounced back with an improved performance in Bloemfontein to stay in touch with the top teams in the Super Rugby standings.

As it stands, the Lions are only two points ahead of the Sharks in the Africa Conference Two standings.

"It is a good improvement," said Du Preez after his team's victory over the Cheetahs.

"I think the boys did really well. That is good momentum for us going into the Lions game next week."

Du Preez said their ability to put the Cheetahs under pressure for large periods of the game was key to their success.

"I think we continued to build pressure, so I think that was a big part of it," said Du Preez.

"Obviously in the first half we got quite a few opportunities, especially early on and we could not take those and we were unlucky not to get points.

He added: "I think the guys really stuck to the plan and at the end it could have gone either way, but we are happy with the win."

The Sharks coach also had some kind words for his Cheetahs counterpart.

"It's always tough [against the Cheetahs]. They are a talented side. 

"I have said it earlier in the week, Franco [Smith] is a very good coach, so you are always up against it when you come play here [Bloemfontein]," Du Preez added.

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28