Everitt: ‘Sharks to go all out to beat Stormers’

2014-07-10 00:00

ASSISTANT coach Sean Everitt has revealed the Sharks could go all out to beat the Stormers on Saturday, irrespective of everything else that unfolds in the other final Super Rugby regular season games over the weekend.

There are scenarios aplenty for the Durban side ahead of their trip to Cape Town, but more importantly, they need momentum ahead of the upcoming play-offs.

At the moment, they have none. This after defeats to the Cape side in the reverse fixture prior to June break and another to the Cheetahs five days ago.

According to backline coach Everitt, it is something that is imperative for the third-placed side, suggesting they will field their strongest possible line-up for the clash at Newlands.

“For us, it’s about remaining positive and remaining focused on the job at hand,” he said. “At the moment, that is to beat the Stormers at Newlands, which we’re going to have a good crack at.

“Obviously, we’re going to be looking for some continuity leading into the play-offs. Regardless of whether we play next week or not, we need the continuity, so we would like to play the strongest team available.”

The Sharks name their team to tackle the Stormers today, with director of rugby Jake White likely to field a stronger team compared to last week when he made seven changes, including picking a new front row and changing six out of eight of his forwards.

That resulted in a 27-20 loss in Bloemfontein and Everitt admits they have lost some of their initiative.

“Our goal when we were at the top of the table was to remain there, but things have changed,” he said. “Destiny was in our own hands and now the destiny is in everyone else’s.

“So we’ve lost that advantage, but, at the end of the day, you have to be in it to win, which we are, and we’re motivated with the focus still to win the competition regardless of the mountain we have to climb to get there.”

One player who could return this week is flyhalf Patrick Lambie after over three months out with a bicep injury. He is likely to feature off the bench, while prop Tendai Mtawarira and centre Paul Jordaan may also return.

Everitt also defended the decision to make all those alterations ahead of the Free State trip, saying: “Rotation is a matter of opinion. In the Super 15 competition, you try and win every game.

“Although it’s not always possible, you try to give yourself every chance to win every time.

“Whether you rest your players and lose or whether you put your best starting XV on week in and week out, it’s all a matter of opinion. You’ll always be judged differently by different people, the most significant fact is the result.”

Win or lose at Newlands, it is likely the Sharks will still end third and face a play-off or quarter-final showdown with the sixth-placed team at King’s Park next weekend.

From there, they are will have a semi-final and final in Australasia to come. Everitt is, nonetheless, confident they can have no fears over such a trip considering their successful tour Down Under earlier this season, one of the best in their history, which took in one of their most memorable wins in history, victory over the Crusaders in Christchurch.

“It is difficult to travel and win, but we proved this year that it can be done,” he said. “That tour will give the team a lot of hope and faith as far as that’s concerned.

“One thing I know is, they enjoy challenges and that’s when we get the best out of them.”

V Sean Everitt Sharks

assistant coach

“For us, it’s about remaining positive and remaining focused on the job at hand.”

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