‘Kyle prove my worth’

2014-08-21 00:00

NO one seems more keen to take on the Cheetahs this weekend than Sharks hooker Kyle Cooper, who is grabbing the chance to cement his spot in the number 2 jersey.

The former Glenwood pupil has been with the Sharks for five years and has played second fiddle to Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis.

But he sees this as a chance to prove his worth to the team.

“I was told in Super Rugby that I was going to get my chance in the Currie Cup so I am going to grab it with both hands and make every second on the field count,” he said.

Considering the short turn around from Super Rugby, he believes that the relatively youthful Sharks team have done well.

“There’s been two games played, we are a new group with a lot of youngsters, so its not like we have had a whole pre-season to work together. We started a week before our first game and I think things are going well, obviously we’ll get better in time,” he said.

Cooper is confident in his own ability, specifically at line­out time, and said the team have been putting in the work behind the scenes.

“I think our lineouts are good, we’ve been working hard on them. We see it as a big part of the game so we do train it a lot,” he said.

They are also concentrating on the lineout drive, which was evident in the three tries they scored against the Pumas from mauls.

“In South African rugby, the lineout drive is a big asset to every other team, so whether we drive well, we still have to make sure we stop them as well,” he said.

Looking at their date with the Cheetahs on Saturday night, Cooper said the Sharks are not taking them lightly.

“We have seen their strengths and weaknesses and we are going to work towards that and come this weekend, whether its a forward based game or pushing it wide with the backs, we’ve just got to get that balance right and I think we’ll be good,” he said.

He believes that the Sharks need to focus on getting basics right and that comes down to understanding the game plan, despite a loss of experienced heads.

“We taking it game by game and obviously this weekend we’re focusing on the Cheetahs. Last year’s Currie Cup we had almost the same game plan so for the few players that are still around, they at least know what is expected and what needs to be done. The younger players look up to us and we give them guidance and help,” he said.

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