AUDIO: Kiwi scuds aimed at Sharks

Wed, 02 May 2018 14:04

SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: The Sharks rank right up there with the best in terms of clean breaks and defenders beaten.

However, they are set to come up against the competition's most successful defence.

The Durban-based franchise host the Highlanders in a crucial Round 12 encounter at the Kings Park stadium on Saturday.

It will be a stern test for the Sharks - who are second on the Super Rugby list for clean breaks and seventh for defenders beaten.

While this looks impressive, they have their work cut out against the most successful defensive system in the competition.

Highlanders defence coach Glenn Delaney the side had a 'defensive strategy group', which was setting goals to get the side up to speed.
 
"You got to have a robust defence and we pride ourselves on that being a bit part of our game," he said of his team's 163 tackles in the 29-28 win over the Bulls last week, a tackle success rate of 86 percent - in a game where they had just over 30 percent of the possession.

He said gets to work with an amazingly talented group of guys who love to defend, adding: "It was good [against the Bulls].

"We just want to make sure we keep the standards high and take that into the next game."

The Sharks' relative success against New Zealand team is something that has come up, but not a major point of discussion for the Highlanders.

"It is fair to say they [the Sharks] have been up and down [this season], but they have certainly been up for the New Zealand teams - so, forewarned is forearmed.

"Against the Blues and the Hurricanes they were very good.

"They are dangerous and have a lot of strike power. They have a strong, direct-running pack of forwards."

The Highlanders had come through well against the Bulls, although wing Tevita Li returned home - as he has a mid-foot sprain.
 
Delaney said it did not appear serious but Li was not able to play this week so there was no point in him staying in South Africa. He has been replaced in the squad by Josh McKay.
 
All Black wing Waisake Naholo, who missed the game against the Bulls because of a hamstring niggle, should be right to play against the Sharks.

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 June 2018
Highlanders v Hurricanes 07h35 Dunedin
Sat, 02 June 2018
Blues v Rebels 05h15 Eden Park
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 12 6 1 5 31
Rebels 12 6 0 6 30
Brumbies 12 4 0 8 20
Reds 11 4 0 7 18
Sunwolves 12 2 0 10 10
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 11 0 2 50
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 8 0 4 37
Highlanders 11 7 0 4 32
Blues 12 3 0 9 17
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 7 0 6 40
Jaguares 13 8 0 5 34
Sharks 13 5 1 7 28
Stormers 14 5 0 9 25
Bulls 13 5 0 8 24