Sharks’ Oosthuizen calls for a more physical game

2014-09-11 00:00

SHARKS lock-turned-flank Etienne Oosthuizen is calling for his team-mates to step up to the plate physically this weekend.

After two losses in a row, the Sharks desperately need to beat the Cheetahs this weekend if they are to stay in the running for the play-off stages of the Currie Cup.

Oosthuizen, who has mostly played lock at the Sharks, has moved to flank this tournament and has looked and played the part.

“I played most of my junior career and school career at flank so it’s pretty fun to be back in the position and I’m enjoying it,” he said.

The burly forward seems at ease in either position, but believes he is still getting used to moving into a similar role that Willem Alberts played in Super Rugby — that of a battering ram.

“I think my role should be a bigger ball-carrier and it’s something I’m working towards having moved from lock to number seven again. It’s something I enjoy and it’s something I can work on and get really good at,” he said.

Despite the Sharks pack being fairly young, Oosthuizen believes they need to man up to other teams.

“We’ve got a pretty young pack, and not only a young pack, but a young team, but that’s no excuse for our two losses in the two past weekends. I think we didn’t play to our potential and we need to bring that physicality back. Especially against the Cheetahs, who are more known for their wide-running rugby and I thinks it’s going to be a crucial part of the game,” he said.

He also recognises the importance of winning here on out.

“As a team we really need to get a win now to get our spirits back up, especially being defending champions. We don’t want to come back from Bloemfontein without a win. I think that’s our main aim this weekend, it doesn’t matter if it’s a good win or a bad win,” he added.

Nevertheless, Oosthuizen believes the Sharks have enough depth in their squad and said that they need to focus on getting the basics right.

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