Perfection is the aim

2014-04-30 00:00

FOUR wins from four games. That is what Jake White was aiming for as the Sharks touched down in Sydney on Sunday for their tour Down Under.

The Sharks have been marvellous at home this season, with their only blemish coming last week when they were surprised by the Highlanders in their King’s Park fortress.

But, with the campaign entering a critical stage where every game is crucial, White wants his team to come back home with a 100% record, especially after losing last week.

“The loss means that the game against the Rebels now becomes huge. We bounced back well from the loss to the Bulls, and we will need to do the same in Melbourne,” said White.

Should they beat the Rebels on Friday, it will be the first win overseas by a South African team this season. And, despite the fact that the Sharks have never beaten the Crusaders in Christchurch in the history of the competition, White was still backing his men to get the win.

“If I don’t believe we can do that, then I’m wasting my time,” the World Cup-winning former Springbok coach was quoted as saying in New Zealand media.

“I read somewhere that we have never beaten the Crusaders in Christchurch. The nice thing about that is it’s gonna happen. So, why can’t it be this year?

“We’re prepared to win every game, but it’s all relative. If we have a full-strength team and are playing well, I think we can beat anyone. Once you go on tour thinking, ‘if we win here and lose that one’, you end up losing everything,” he said.

South African teams have not had a good time Down Under with the Cheetahs, Stormers and Bulls losing all of their games on tour, which is something the Sharks will want to change.

Speaking last week, skipper Bismarck du Plessis said he did not know why the other South African teams did badly, but that the Sharks have always looked forward to going on tour.

“I haven’t been on tour with other South African teams, so I can’t speak for them. But we embrace and we love touring,” he said. Du Plessis also felt the tour was good to allow the team to bond away from home.

White, of course, is also another weapon that the Sharks can use on the tour as he spent two years working with the Brumbies.

“I have no doubt that the insight I have, not only in terms of the players and coaches, but also the psyche of the way they prepare for games, is going to help us a massive amount on this tour,” White said.

The Sharks’ game in Melbourne against the Rebels will kick off at 11.40 am.

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