AUDIO: Emotions high ahead of Loftus derby

Thu, 10 May 2018 14:44

LISTEN as Sharks loose forward Dan du Preez talks about the crucial Round 13 Super Rugby encounter with the Bulls.

Derbies are not for the faint of heart.

Add the fact that both teams, the Bulls and Sharks, are in a desperate struggle to stay in the play-off race, and it has all the ingredients for a thriller.

The Sharks are currently eighth on the standings, the last quarterfinal spot, with 23 points and six matches remaining.

The Bulls are three places (and three points) behind, also with six games remaining.

The Lions (second overall, on 31 points - five matches remaining) and the Jaguares (seventh, 24 - five matches remaining) are the teams ahead of the in the South African conference.

The Sharks come into this match with a measure of confidence, having beaten the Stormers and Highlanders either side of a bye.

However, Du Preez said they will face a fierce challenge from a Bulls team on the rise.

"This is going to be a huge battle, South African derbies are never easy," the Sharks No.8 said, adding: "There will be a lot of emotion.

"The guys remember the game against the Bulls a few weeks ago and I think the Bulls will be hurting from last week [a loss to the Stormers].

He felt that the game is going to be won and lost up front.

"The set-piece battle is going to be huge and a big decider on which way the game goes.

"If you win the physical battle, then half the war is won.

"It's something we work hard on every week and something we pride ourselves on."

@rugby365com

* Watch the Sharks' pre-match media briefing!

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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
Wales v South Africa 21h00 RFK Stadium
Sun, 03 June 2018
Brumbies v Sunwolves 06h05 Canberra
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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