Loosehead prop Chadwick confident Sharks will continue to improve

2013-08-22 00:00

LOOSEHEAD prop Dale Chadwick says the Sharks are still adapting to the new scrum laws and is confident they will continue to improve in the Currie Cup match against Free State in Bloemfontein tomorrow night.

The 24-year-old, a product of Westville Boys’ High, has spent most of the year on the sidelines after fracturing his foot but, in the absence of Springbok loosehead Beast Mtawarira, he is now a permanent fixture in the Currie Cup side.

Chadwick said yesterday that after the nightmare outing against Griquas — a defeat at home in the opening round — there had been a marked improvement.

The prop said that the five tight forwards had been embarrassed at how they performed against Griquas.

“It was a real wake-up call and we made a pact that we would never allow that to happen to us again in a Sharks jersey. The guys really stood up and showed what we have against the Lions. That gave us confidence in that match and gives us confidence going into this Friday’s game against Free State, because we’re a good tight five.”

He said there was still room for improvement — “but we’re getting there”.

He said that the emphasis was on moulding their approach to the strengths of the pack.

“It’s a progression and the guys are growing. We can see that, but we know we can’t still be looking for progression six or seven weeks down the line.”

Chadwick said the loss at home to Griquas had been a major setback.

“But the Currie Cup competition is really tight, so if we can go away to Bloem­fontein this weekend, and pick up points, it would be great for us. Away wins are a bonus and something we are going to target.

“And when we are at home, we want to make sure we get four or five points in every game.”

He said that the Free Staters were a balanced team “that can be physical”.

“But they also like to run the ball so we’re covering all our bases and looking to build on our performances against the Lions.”

Meanwhile, Sharks signing SP Marais says he had joined the Sharks from the Southern Kings after the Super Rugby season to chase his dream of a Springbok cap.

The 24-year-old said he had turned down offers from the Bulls and Cheetahs following the Kings’ relegation from Super Rugby.

“There were a few options, but I had to look at the bigger picture. The most important thing is your game time and that was one of the big factors that brought me to Durban.

“As you see, I had been in Durban and already got the opportunity,” Marais said of his debut for the Sharks against the Golden Lions last Friday when he scored the match-winning try (from an intercept).

“I need to use these opportunities now, so that when Super Rugby comes around next year, I’ve already found my place here.

“The first game was good, but it was more about the team winning and I was part of that.”

His goal is to play for the Boks.

“If you want to go further and into the green and gold, then it was the time for me to move and I’m very happy to be here.”

The Bloemfontein match kicks off at 7.10 pm tomorrow and Jason Jaftha is the referee.

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