Lambie: Sharks will triumph on tour
Lambie: Sharks will triumph on tourSHARE
The Sharks start the Augean task that Australasian tours have become for South African teams, determined to change a trend.
When the men from Durban take on the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday, they will attempt to do what the Bulls, Cheetahs and Stormers failed to achieve – cross the Indian Ocean and win a match.
And as if taking on the erratic Rebels in their own back yard is not demanding enough, the Brumbies – Sharks boss Jake White's previous franchise – Crusaders and Blues also lie in wait.
Injured Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie is adamant his teammates can break the demoralising cycle of defeats by SA teams.
Speaking to rugby365 Lambie admitted that the Sharks enter "the most challenging part" of the season now.
The Sharks begin the hellacious tour of desperate to hang on to their tenuous Super Rugby lead – with the Brumbies and Hurricanes waiting to pounce.
Jake White's charges lead the Southern Hemisphere competition by just one point, after their shock loss to the Highlanders last week.
The Sharks, who have played seven of their nine games at home this season, know that if they slip again the Brumbies (who play the struggling Crusaders on Saturday) could overtake them at the top of the standings.
The third-placed Hurricanes, who have displaced the defending champion Chiefs at the top of the New Zealand conference, can also pressure the Sharks if they beat the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
Lambie admitted last Friday's loss in Durban was a setback for the Sharks.
He said it was important that they won, in order to go on tour with some momentum.
"South African sides have battled overseas so far," he told rugby365.
"Hopefully we can bag a few points while we are over there and at ourselves up nicely at the top of the standings going into the June break.
"It is going to be a huge challenge and it will be difficult.
"However, I feel the guys do believe in themselves and each other – they are also backing the systems.
"If we keep working hard there is no reason why we can't keep on winning."
Lambie, who underwent surgery after he tore his pectoral muscle in the loss to the Bulls back in March, said he is looking to return to the playing again in July.
By Jan de Koning