Sharks aim to build on Loftus win

2011-09-08 00:00

SHARKS coach John Plumtree is hoping his players will build on their Loftus win over the Blue Bulls at the weekend and play with greater consistency when they face the Pumas at King’s Park on Saturday.

Plumtree said that while the Loftus win was both encouraging and timely, the Sharks have still “to get our game going” and they had been forced to make more than twice as many tackles as the Bulls in winning the game.

“We still feel we have a lot to do and we’re still seeking that game we really want to play. We saw touches of it against the Bulls, but we still feel we’re not quite there yet.

“Some areas of our game are good, but we had to make over 200 tackles against the Bulls and, if we don’t change that we’ll be a bit worn out by the end of the Currie Cup.”

Plumtree said the Sharks had shown some attacking structure against the Bulls, but the many penalties conceded by the home team then broke their continuity.

“We looked quite dangerous from turn-over ball and some of the tries we scored were really good, but we don’t feel like we’re there yet. With this group it really is just one game at a time because we haven’t really clicked.

“We’ve had disruptions with players coming and going and that’s made it difficult to manage and plan ahead.

“I’m hoping we can get some consistency with selection and in our playing group and we can keep that for the rest of the season.”

The Sharks have played their best rugby in beating the big boys, the Bulls (twice), Free State and Western Province, and saved their worst for the smaller unions, losing to Griquas and struggling against the Leopards and the Pumas in Nelspruit.

“That makes attitude important on Saturday,” said Plumtree, “and our hope we have the right focus on Saturday.”

Plumtree said scrumhalf Charl McLeod will be out for a fortnight with a shoulder injury — Conrad Hoffman will start in his place — but he expects prop Eugene van Staden (elbow) to be be passed fit to play against the Pumas.

Jaco Peyper, who punished the Sharks at the breakdown and at a crucial late scrum when they lost to the Lions at Ellis Park recently, will referee the game (kick off 3 pm).

This weekend’s fixtures (home team first):

Tomorrow: Lions vs Griquas 7.10 pm.

Saturday: Sharks vs Pumas 3 pm;

WP vs Leopards 3 pm;

Free State vs Blue Bulls 5.05 pm

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