'Important' three weeks ahead for Sharks

Tue, 02 May 2017 08:41

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sharks head coach Robert du Preez said his team's next three games will be hugely important in the race for a play-off spot.

The Sharks secured a vital 33-25 win over the Jaguares in Round 10 and they will not want to lose any momentum before the June international break.

The Durban-based side are now eight points ahead of the Jaguares in Africa Conference Two, but they still trail the Lions by nine points.

"The game [against the Jaguares] had a huge significance with regards to where we are on the log at this stage," said Du Preez. "We are pleased that they did not get a bonus point.

"Every game is going to be important. I think it just showed once again there are no easy games in this tournament. You can't take any side for granted.

Du Preez added: "The [Southern] Kings have shown how well they have played by beating the Rebels with 40-odd points, so the next three games are really going to be important. Obviously, the first one is against the Force and then the Kings away and then the Sunwolves away.

"The guys are in very good spirits. We had an enjoyable tour. I think it is also important that the guys had fun because it [Buenos Aires] is a daunting place to go and play, but they made the best of the opportunity."

Du Preez said he was pleased with the way his team bounced back against the Jaguares after a disappointing 9-all draw with the Melbourne Rebels in Round Nine.

"We knew that it was going to be a very tough assignment. We obviously wanted to put things right after the disappointing performance we had against the Rebels. 

"We always knew that we would need to play with a lot of passion and courage. That for me was the most important thing -  apart from being technically correct, passion was the big driving force behind our victory," said the coach.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 June 2017
Sharks v Bulls 17h00 Kings Park, Durban
Sat, 01 July 2017
Jaguares v Kings 23h05 Buenos Aires
New Zealand v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Stormers 13h05 Bloemfontein
Lions v Sunwolves 15h15 Ellis Park Stadium
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19