AUDIO: Sharks issue Hurricane warning
LISTEN as Sharks coach Robert du Preez explains why they approach this week's Super Rugby encounter with the Hurricanes with a measure of confidence.
The Durban-based franchise became the first South African team this season to win outside the country's borders when they smashed the Blues 63-40 in Auckland.
It was just the tonic the Sharks needed, as they can now play with freedom.
Du Preez said he was "pleased" with the win in Auckland.
"It has been a tough two weeks for us on the road" he said of their defeats against Brumbies and Rebels.
"The effort was there in the previous weeks, but the accuracy was lacking,"Du Preez said, when asked how they managed to turn it around.
"That is something we spoke about, that we must be more accurate when we do have the opportunity.
"I also wanted the boys to come out and play and really enjoy themselves," the coach said, adding that there was a bit of 'fear of failure'.
The coach was also full of praise for veteran loose forward Phillip van der Walt, who flew over to New Zealand last week to replace the injured Wian Vosloo and was named in the starting XV in place pf the suspended Jacques Vermeulen.
"Philip is a guy that plays with a lot of courage," Du Preez said, adding: "He brings a lot of leadership and a lot of experience. That is what we have been lacking in the pack.
"We needed this game to turn our campaign around.
"However, it is not getting any easier," he said of this week's encounter with the New Zealand conference leaders, the Hurricanes, in Napier.
While taking confidence from bearing the Blues, they realise it is a tall order that awaits them.
"They are a quality side," the coach said of the Hurricanes.
"They are probably the best side in New Zealand, or even Super Rugby at this stage.
"The boys will have a lot of confidence going into this game."