Easter: ‘Sharks well prepared’

2018-10-23 14:30
Lwazi Mvovo is fit to play for the Sharks in the Currie Cup final in Cape Town on Saturday.

Lwazi Mvovo is fit to play for the Sharks in the Currie Cup final in Cape Town on Saturday. (Gallo images)

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The last time the Sharks visited Western Province in Cape Town was just a few weeks ago, and the Durban-based franchise had 50 points put past them in their only Currie Cup defeat this season.

However, Sharks assistant Nick Easter says his Durban side have grown from strength to strength since that 50-28 loss at Newlands Stadium.

The two franchises are set to meet in an epic Currie Cup climax on Saturday, with the Sharks hoping to claim their first title since 2013.

The men from Cape Town will be hoping to beat the Sharks again to win the title for the second time in a row after they got the better of them in Durban last year.

Former England and Harlequins No. 8, Easter was not part of the Sharks set-up back then when they missed the chance to lift the title, but he was the assistant to Robert du Preez when they lost to Province last month.

“I think we know what a quality side they are, so we got to be well prepared, be in the game and stay focused for 80 minutes,” said Easter on Monday. “It was a big wake-up call, with a few good performances since then, but we are going to have to be more consistent because we know what it will take to become the champions.

“I think the guys have kicked on after that game, there’s much more clarity on what we are trying to achieve.

“Our errors were too much in the previous games, those guys [Province] punished us. They always say you learn more when you lose.

“We are very happy with where the players are, the guys are taking a lot more of ownership than last month as well and much more responsibility.”

To book their spot in the final, the Sharks defeated the Golden Lions­ 33-24 in an entertaining clash at King’s Park over the weekend.

The assistant coach described the semi-final as an ideal workout before the final match of the season.

“It was much more for the mental side, we understand when there’s pressure that we have to deal with it.

“I think we have had good balance in this Currie Cup and we need to put it together because Province are very good side, they can score a lot of points.”

At the moment there are no injury concerns in the Sharks camp, as wing Lwazi Mvovo has been declared fit after an injury scare last Saturday.

News coming out of the Province camp is that scrumhalf Paul de Wet has been ruled out with an ankle injury.

He was injured after coming on as a substitute in Saturday’s dramatic 35-32 extra-time victory over the Bulls at Newlands.

Province assistant coach Dawie Snyman also confirmed on Monday that Jano Vermaak had not made a full recovery from a thumb injury.

But the player would be given “as long as possible” to recover before Saturday’s match before the coaching staff would need to consider Justin Phillips as a replacement.

Herschel Jantjies, who started at scrumhalf last Saturday, could be in the No. 9 jersey again this weekend.

This Saturday’s match will kick off at 4 pm.


Read more on:    currie cup  |  pietermaritzburg  |  sharks rugby

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