Alistair Hargreaves likens the Sharks’ Super Rugby season to a frustrating round of golf

2011-06-18 00:00

I’VE struggled to put pen to paper this week, the reason being that there simply isn’t much left to say. With everything taken into account after 17 gruelling weeks of rugby, it all comes down to one fixture.

Looking back on the season it’s easy to identify our shortcomings as a team. I get the same feeling of regret that often creeps up on me while I mark my scorecard at the Country Club in frustration, ruing missed putts, lamenting poor club selection and cursing my ability (or lack thereof) to turn birdies into bogeys.

Unfortunately it’s not hard to draw parallels when looking at our last four months of rugby. There is an overriding feeling of frustration due to missed opportunities.

The question we have to ask ourselves is whether we can overcome the disappointment of the last few weeks and bring a focused, collective effort into this week’s fixture against the Bulls.

The inner sanctum of King’s Park this week has been filled with a feeling of intensity and nerves and yet a strange sense of calm.

The thing is, there’s not much that can be changed in five days of training at the end of four months worth of hard work, and there isn’t a lot left to say. So pick your cliché: It’s “do or die”, “win at all costs”, “sink or swim” … whatever works for you.

One thing that won’t work is time wasted on regrets, excuses and finger pointing.

The wind may have suddenly changed on my backswing, the caddy may have given me the wrong putting line, and Keegan Daniel’s scorecard might have to be audited by KPMG at the end of the round, but the reality is that there is still one hole left to play, and all that matters is to win.

You see what I’m getting at?

Sure you do.

The remainder of this week sees us heading back up to Rustenburg, the venue where we all met for our pre-season camp.

It’s a place where we planned and plotted our Super Rugby path, where we bled and sweated and vowed to be our best at all costs.

So it’s rather fitting that we revisit our old hunting ground in this, our most important of weeks.

This week will hardly be dissimilar to any other: training as usual, meetings as always and maybe an opportunity to take Stefan Terblanche’s money at the poker table.

However, the only significant difference is that this time there is no room for error. It’s our last chance, our 18th hole, and the time where we finally have to produce the 80-minute performance that has proved far too elusive this season.

We are passionate about our fans, proud of our traditions, and the jersey we wear means everything to us. Come tonight we will do all in our power to be true ambassadors of the Black and White.

As players we believe in and trust each other implicitly. We have put too much into this tournament to fall short at the final hurdle.

That said, I can guarantee that whatever the result tonight, we will be content with our efforts when the final whistle blows.

ALISTAIR HARGREAVES likens the Sharks’ Super Rugby season to a frustrating round of golf

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