Sharks keen to wipe out last week’s disappointing show

2008-07-03 00:00

Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford, reflecting on last week’s Boland game ahead of tomorrow’s Absa Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls at Loftus, has admitted that the Sharks’ performance was more than a disappointment.

“You work so hard and you don’t expect a performance like that against Boland,” said Bashford.

“You can put it down to an under-committed attitude by the players, which has been addressed very sternly and hopefully that won’t happen again. We let ourselves down.”

The Sharks are currently on top of the Absa Currie Cup log and while Bashford agrees that it’s good to be unbeaten, the Sharks are not doing themselves any favours playing under par as they are.

“For us, it’s not really about the points. We’re looking for the perfect performance week in and week out,” he said. “We have high standards, the players drive the environment and set really high standards for themselves so more than anything, beating Boland and getting the bonus point wasn’t what it was really all about for us, the clinical performance and the accuracy was what we were after in that game and it was really disappointing. But we’ve hopefully addressed that and it won’t happen again.”

Going into tomorrow’s match, the Sharks are seeking inspiration from within.

“Obviously, with a relatively new group and not much preparation time, you don’t expect it to be 100% yet, but you do expect an improvement every week. Our challenge is to make sure we get up and give a performance that we are proud of, and if we play accordingly, we will get the result.”

The Blue Bulls at Loftus is an entirely different prospect and while the Sharks always enjoy massive support up there, the former Sharks player does not reason that the game will be won on support alone.

“The support we get up there is always good, but make no mistake, Loftus is the Bulls’ fortress — they will have enough support of their own,” he said.

“They will be exceptionally disappointed about their loss to Western Province. So it’s a huge game for them and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”

Certainly, with the Sharks facing a number of injury concerns, the Bulls by contrast have had the good fortune of being able to welcome back skipper Wikus van Heerden as well as Derick Hougaard and Zane Kirchner for tomorrow’s clash.

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