Bulls game win gives Sharks traction

2014-09-25 00:00

THE Sharks’ win over the Bulls has given them a blueprint to beat the big guns in the Currie Cup.

After a poor three matches, the Sharks’ defence coupled with some terrific lineout contesting helped them beat a strong Bulls side at Loftus last Saturday.

For prop Dale Chadwick, who was at the coalface, the win came down to a number of factors that could be crucial in the rest of the tournament.

“I think our exits were brilliant, we never really let them put us under pressure. We stopped their maul, but we weren’t happy with the way our scrums went. We’re trying to adapt to the new laws that they’re throwing at us,” he said.

The Westville Old Boy spoke about the difficulties adapting to the new scrumming laws currently being implemented.

“They have brought on a new binding law with both the loosehead and tightheads having to bind long. We took a while to get used to that, but we also felt a few decisions went against us. But on a few occasions they [Bulls] beat us over that line and with the scrumming laws today, with being settled, if you lose that first inch you’re pretty much done,” Chadwick said.

The men from Durban will be up against a hurting EP Kings this weekend, who have lost a number of players to injury, but the Sharks will not be taking them lightly.

“The Kings are dangerous; they’ll come here and throw the ball around for 80 minutes. Their strengths are in their unpredictability and they’ve got a good pack — CJ [van der Linde] is a good tighthead. They also have a good mauling lineout so we are not underestimating them,” Chadwick said.

Another player who has featured prominently for the Sharks is journeyman flyhalf Lionel Cronje. Having spent time at a number of different local unions and the Brumbies, Cronje is happy to now call Durban home.

The 25-year-old has brought a new dynamic to the Sharks side since his first start at flyhalf. His ability to take the ball to the line on attack has kept defences guessing and unlocked the Sharks attacking ability.

He is also wary of the Kings attacking flare as well as their talismanic coach Carlos Spencer [ex-All Black].

“The Kings are coached by one of the most attacking rugby players of all time [Spencer] so they are a great outfit on attack and we’re looking forward to the challenge. I think the Kings have shown glimpses in the competition of where they can compete,” he said.

“For us it’s just about making sure our defence is as good as it was against the Bulls and I am sure it will go well,” Cronje said.

The Sharks are waiting on a number of injured players this week. That list includes prop Thomas du Toit (toe), flank Jacques Botes (SC joint sprain), lock Stephan Lewies (knee) and scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann (glute strain).

They take on the Kings at 2 pm on Saturday in Durban.

CURRIE CUP FIXTURES

Tommorrow

7 pm - Pumas v Western Province

7.10 pm - Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls

Saturday

2 pm - Sharks v EP Kings

3 pm - Griquas v Golden Lions.

The Kings are coached by one of the most attacking rugby players of all time so they are a great outfit on attack and we’re looking forward to the challenge. I think the Kings have shown glimpses in the competition of where they can compete.

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