Sharks plan to take the wins one game at a time

2014-02-18 00:00

AFTER brushing the Bulls aside in their Super Rugby opener at King’s Park last weekend, the Sharks are now braced for a totally different challenge when they welcome the Hurricanes to Durban this Saturday.

The bonus point win over the three-time Super Rugby champions boosted the confidence of Jake White’s men, who have been touted as early season favourites for this year’s campaign, having secured the services of the World Cup-winning coach and a big squad that is rich in talent.

Flank Willem Alberts agreed that the bonus point win had boosted the lads, but it was not something that surprised them as they’d been working towards it.

“If you start with a bonus point, it’s what you work for. We trained for it, so it wasn’t a surprise,” Alberts said before adding they were taking the season — where they have been named as overwhelming favourites to win the South African conference — one game at a time.

“Firstly, we want to go for the win, and the bonus points will sort themselves,” he said.

The belief that they can go all the way this season is something that the players have been carrying and Alberts said at the end of the campaign, they aimed to be at the top. “Every year we start a new season, we want to win like every team that starts a Super Rugby campaign, they want to win. But we definitely have got a good side this year and we believe we can do it,” he said, before mentioning once again — as White has before the season — that they were looking to take the competition week-by-week.

One of the thing that slowed the Sharks down during last year’s campaign was the number of injuries suffered by their top players. This season the Sharks have been fortunate to start with a clean bill of health and the Bok hard man said it was an area where they hoped to have some luck.

“We have great depth in the squad this year. Unfortunately you can’t predict injuries and you can’t help it. But we’re hoping this season that the luck is on our side injury wise.”

Luck has already been on the Sharks side this season as governing body Sanzar announced yesterday that Cobus Reinach’s try should not have been awarded.

“We unfortunately got the TMO decision wrong. The Sharks forward [Anton Bresler] did knock the ball forward out of the Bulls player’s [Paul Willemse] hands. Also, there was consideration to the fact that the Sharks player obstructed the Bulls player in the air,” referees boss Lyndon Bray said of the try that had gone up to the TMO.

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