‘We must get it right this time’

2018-10-25 12:03
Jean-Luc du Preez during a Sharks training session at Jonsson Kings Park this week.

Jean-Luc du Preez during a Sharks training session at Jonsson Kings Park this week.

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After their failure to lift the Currie Cup title last year, Sharks flank Jean-Luc du Preez says they are happy to have an immediate second chance and need to get it right this time.

The Sharks will battle Western Province for top honours in the domestic rugby competition at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday (4 pm kick-off).

The sides played in last year’s Currie Cup final in Durban where Province stunned the Sharks, who were favourites, by 33-21 to take the title to Cape Town.

This year, the Cape outfit are the favourites to clinch the title for the second time in a row because of their excellent run to the final. But Du Preez says they haven’t forgotten how Province, with the big help of his elder brother Robert du Preez junior — who is with the Sharks now — surprised them in last year’s final, and nothing would be sweeter than them outplaying their opponents on their home turf, as well.

“I think it’s in the back of all our heads — obviously losing a home semi-final is not ideal, but we are fortunate enough to be in the final this year and another place that is as good as King’s Park is Newlands Stadium. I’m really looking forward to the clash,” said Du Preez. “It’s going to be a massive clash and definitely won up front, but they have a huge pack with JD Schickerling, Bongi Mbonambi and Wilco Louw.”

On their way to the final, Province won all their matches and ended the Sharks’ unbeaten run when they met last month.

“I think we can take a lot from that game [defeat to Province], as we did last weekend against the Lions; we didn’t have a full, 80-minute performance,” said Du Preez.

“I think we go a bit complacent, as we did against Western Province two weeks ago. But we are focusing on the full 80 minutes or 90, if that what it takes to win.”

The 23-year-old player is also happy to be back in time for the last match of the season after being out for three months due to an injury. “I’m definitely happy to be back, it’s the business end of the season. Obviously being sidelined for three months is not ideal, but fortunately we are in the final this year and, hopefully, we can bring the Cup home,” he said.

“Playing from the bench is good for me, because I was off for a few months and they put you back in gradually. So, in the first week I got about 20 minutes and last week I got about 30 minutes, but, ja, it’s really good to be back.”

Meanwhile, former Sharks flank Jean Deysel has retired from the game.

He last played for Ulster.

 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sharks rugby

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