A bye early on can be in our favour, says White

2014-02-25 00:00

AFTER two games of Super Rugby, the Sharks are off this week for what coach Jake White felt was an important break in their pursuit for the title.

White felt the bye would count in their favour as it would give his players time to recharge their batteries with their families before returning to the field on Thursday to prepare for next week’s visit of the Lions.

This year, Sanzar has announced that teams will no longer be getting any points for a bye, which means the Lions could be sitting at the top of the Super Rugby table should they get a win against the struggling Bulls at Loftus Versfeld Stadium this coming Saturday.

But, White said the break had come at a great time for his battle-weary troops.

“If you’ve planned it properly and spoken about it, then a bye early on can be in your favour. If I look at the last 20 minutes of [the game] when they were dead on their feet, a break has probably come at a great time,” White said.

The Sharks mentor felt it wouldn’t slow down their momentum in the early stages of the season.

“Sometimes some teams who get to the final have breaks early, some teams who get their breaks late, like the Cheetahs did last year, also get to the play-offs,” he said.

White added that he was the kind of coach who instead of adding things to the training programme, preferred to take them away.

“I think teams get demotivated when coaches arrive, ‘I know I told you that you can have Wednesday off, but we need another session’, where I find that when you get guys working hard and you say, ‘listen I think we’re on par with where we need to be so you can take Wednesday off …,’ you can get a much better return from the group.

“That’s just the experience I’ve had since I’ve been coaching,” he said.

Perhaps unthinkable before the start of the season, the Sharks’ encounter against the Lions next week could turn out to be a top of the table clash.

A well-rested Sharks pack should have an upper hand against Johan Ackermann’s men, who will be on the back of a bruising encounter against a wounded Bulls team trying to prove to the Loftus faithful that they can rescue their season.

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