Sharks pair bullish

2014-03-19 00:00

AFTER seeing off the challenge of Wallaby second-row pairing of James Horwill and Rob Simmons, the Sharks’ new partnership of Anton Bresler and Stephan Lewies will come up against Springboks Victor Matfield and Flip van der Merwe when they tackle the Bulls on Saturday.

The Sharks may have beaten the Bulls already this season, but they come up against a completely different outfit when the two sides clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The men from Durban have had a great start to their Super Rugby campaign so far, claiming four wins in their first four games, while the three-time champions from Pretoria were a bit slower out of the blocks.

After going down to the Sharks and Cheetahs in their opening two games that were on the road, the Bulls returned to their fortress and have claimed two wins, to move up to sixth on the overall log.

Bresler acknowledged that the game against the traditional powerhouse of Super Rugby would be daunting.

“As a team, we’ve got a lot of respect for the Bulls. They’re coming off a bye weekend which means they’re going to be fresh and keen to play,” Bresler told reporters at the King’s Park Stadium gym yesterday.

“History shows that they’re three times Super Rugby champions. And, also playing at Loftus is not going to be easy at all. This will most probably be our most difficult challenge of the tournament,” he said.

For Bresler, coming up against the modern day “Godfather of locks” in Matfield would also be a challenge for the 26-year-old Namibian-born second rower.

“It’s going to be an honour for most of us to get to play against Victor,” he added.

He felt the men from the capital would be much better thanks to the return of senior players like Matfield and ex-Sharks utility back Jacque-Louis Potgieter.

“And with Jacques being in the pivot position, he’s obviously played here before and we know what he’s capable of … It’s important to close players like him down,” he said.

Last week, Bresler and new lock partner Lewies did well against the Wallabies pair of Horwill and Simmons.

Speaking about Lewies, his new partner in the second row following the long-term injury layoff for Pieter-Steph du Toit, Bresler said: “Stephan is a great player and playing under Pieter-Steph, you learn a lot.

“He’s surrounded by great players which are mostly Springbok players, so they’re all helping him out … it gives you a bit of a confidence booster.”

He described the loss of the young Du Toit as “major”, but admitted that every player in the team had a vital role.

It has been reported time and time and time again that the Sharks have started the campaign as one of the teams to watch, and could possibly go the distance in bringing the Super Rugby trophy to these shores for the first time ever.

Bresler felt the pressure that has been brought on by the expectation could be a good thing.

“In any sport, pressure is good. We do take it in. But you don’t want to lose the enjoyment of the game.

“By thinking of the pressure, you don’t want to stop enjoying it.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.