‘Sharks better placed than class of 2001 to go all way’

2014-03-20 00:00

THE 2014 Sharks are better placed than the class of 2001 to go all the way in this season’s Super Rugby campaign.

This was the view of none other than Sharks XV coach Deon Kayser, who was a part of that side 13 years ago who almost went all the way, but failed at the final hurdle to a Steven Larkham inspired Brumbies side in Canberra.

“These guys are blessed with a bigger talent pool. They’ve got much better depth than us in the past. We were a much smaller group,” the Sharks and Springbok legend told The Witness yesterday afternoon.

“They definitely have a chance to compete for the title. I think this is one of the better prospects for the Sharks to go all the way.”

Like so many have already done this season, Kayser praised the work that was being done by Sharks coach Jake White, from whom, he added, he was learning a lot at the franchise.

“Jake came here with a mindset that from the start, he said he wants to compete and he wants to win this tournament.

“They’re doing the right things at the moment. The team is performing.

“We’ve won all of our home games so far and it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes in the away games. But, I think we’ve got the players to take us close, and maybe even to take the competition,” said Kayser.

The coach also spoke to The Witness about THAT tackle he made on opposite number Robbie Fleck against the Stormers when the Sharks won their Super 12 encounter in Wellington in the Western Cape in 2001.

“Looking at that tackle, for me, I was just doing my job. He slowed down, and I turned around and I chased. Fortunately for me, he slowed down and I managed to catch him from behind. If you look at other videos where the opposition score, I’m still chasing, but that’s not noticed.

“But because I tackled him [it’s noticed], so work ethic is important. I saw myself as the guy that always gave my best when playing,” said Kayser.

It was the first thing that people asked about when they recognised him outside of King’s Park, he said.

Thanks to Kayser’s tackle, the Sharks won that game against the Stormers to secure a second place finish on the log, and a home semi-final against the Cats. They would then go on to lose 36-6 against the Brumbies in the final in Canberra.

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