Sharks keep it real

2014-07-16 00:00

THE Sharks were cautious not to get too ahead of themselves as they prepared for Saturday’s Super Rugby qualifier against the Highlanders in Durban.

All the pre-game talk appears to focus on what they could potentially face in the two weeks ahead — a semi-final against the Crusaders in Christchurch, followed by the final against possibly the Waratahs in Sydney on August 2.

But captain Bismarck du Plessis has warned not to jump the gun.

“The thing is, if you look too far [ahead] you will slip at the first hurdle,” the Springbok hooker said. “We are only looking at Saturday, and hopefully we can be at our best in front of hopefully a full house.”

Du Plessis and his team will be hoping the match is the first of three as the season reaches its climax over the coming weeks. Despite being the South African conference winners by a long way, they only ended third on the log and now have to win the competition the hard way: on the road.

“When the season starts there’s 15 teams and there’s six left now,” the skipper said. “We wanted to be in the six and we’re really cherishing the opportunity to play in front of our home crowd.

“We were disappointed with the last game we played here and we really don’t want to finish on that note.”

That last game at King’s Park against the Stormers was one of two that saw them beaten at home this season. They also lost to the Saturday’s opponents, the Highlanders, in a surprise 34-18 scoreline back in April.

“Against us the last time here their forwards were really physical and were really dominant,” Du Plessis, who didn’t feature in the round nine clash, explained. “We can’t allow that this time.

“In that game, we gave them easy penalties in our area, I think Lima Sopoaga didn’t miss one kick that day. So we really have to play in the right areas.

“We have to be up for the challenge and need to put our mark of authority over them.”

With that loss, it means the Sharks have not won at home since April 19 against the Cheetahs and Du Plessis acknowledged there will be pressure to win, saying: “I wouldn’t say there’s extra pressure because we’re at home, there’s extra pressure because it’s a quarter-final and that’s the situation we put ourselves in.

“But hopefully we can perform in front of our home crowd.”

The Sharks were likely to get a huge boost this week following the return from injury of Patrick Lambie and Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, although both were not part of full training yesterday.

Flyhalf Lambie has been out since March following surgery on a torn bicep, while prop Mtawarira has not played since the June international break after picking up a bulging disc problem with the Springboks.

Du Plessis added: “We’ll hopefully get Pat and Beast back, so that also provides a massive lift for the team, and brings a new energy and vibe to the team.”

• Tickets for the game are still available at a discounted rate of R350 for two adults and two children (offer is exclusive to the north and south stands only). There are also ordinary tickets available from between R90 and R150.

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.