Sharks ‘aiming to be more consistent’

2009-03-10 00:00

The Sharks go into the Reds match at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday as firm favourites, but they are taking nothing for granted.

The Sharks are unbeaten in four Super 14 matches. Their opponents are languishing in 10th place in the log in with only one win to their name.

Sharks assistant coach Chris Boyd said: “I suppose we are confident because we’ve gained points, but again we haven’t performed to our potential.

“What’s driving us probably more than anything else is the need to be more accurate in our execution and option-taking, and to play better than we have … ”

The obvious fear at this stage is that much of the good work done so far in the season —and, indeed, on tour — could be undone should the Sharks come unstuck against the Reds on Saturday.

“You can’t waste what you’ve achieved, so we’ll certainly be looking for more consistency … ”

The Sharks deserved to win both their last two games, said Boyd, but “there were parts of those games where we took the foot off the opposition’s throat and allowed them to come back in and get back to within match-winning situations”.

Injuries are taking their toll among all the 14 sides in the tournament.

The Sharks saw Jean Deysel injured against the Chiefs and Alistair Hargreaves in last week’s match against the Blues. Both players have returned home.

“It’s certainly disappointing for both of them,” said Boyd. “Jean Deysel is an outstanding footballer and adds something to our forward pack that many loose forwards don’t. He is that big ball-carrying forward, one to get you across the advantage line, so we have had to slightly modify the way we approach our attack.”

Boyd said Hargreaves “has been very good off the bench and made some really valuable contributions and he’ll be missed”.

“Luckily for us, we have Albert van den Berg fit again and ready to come back in.”

Not too many changes are expected in the team line-up, to be announced tomorrow. Apart from Albert van den Berg replacing the injured Alistair Hargreaves on the bench, John Smit seems certain to start at tighthead to give Jannie du Plessis a break.

The match kicks off at 11.05 (SA time) on Saturday (coverage on SuperSport 1).

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