Sharks remaining optimistic ahead of Joburg trip

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 15:22

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Despite many writing them off, the Sharks still believe they can go to Ellis Park and beat the Lions in their Super Rugby quarterfinal on Saturday.

The two teams met in the final round of the regular season last weekend with Lions walking away with a 27-10 win at Kings Park in Durban.

Sharks head coach Robert du Preez was disappointed with his side's attitude during the game saying they played with "no effort".

However, Sharks assistant coach Ryan Strudwick said there is still a bit of belief in their camp that they can cause a major upset against Johan Ackermann's team in Johannesburg. 

"I think we can," Strudwick said in an interview on the Sharks website.

"We didn't perform well on the weekend, we know that, but we know where we went wrong. 

"Obviously there wasn't much to play for in that game, but there is plenty to play for this weekend and we're pretty confident the guys will pick it up for Saturday."

The Sharks had nothing to gain in terms of log positions by beating the Lions last weekend and that could have played on some of the players' minds during the match.

Beating the Lions would have seen the Sharks travel all the way to New Zealand to face the Crusaders in the quarterfinals. 

"I don't think it was sub-conscious, it was definitely there, in the front of their minds; you could tell.

"In the first half, we really came out and played some good rugby, and defended well. 

"But when the chips were down in the second half, it was almost like the guys already knew the game was going to be there next weekend again," Strudwick said.

Strudwick confirmed that there were no injuries suffered in last Saturday's match.


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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