Durban - The Sharks get their 2018 Currie Cup campaign underway on Saturday knowing that there is little room for error.
The Durbanites host the Blue Bulls at Kings Park (kick-off is at 15:00).
With 2018 seeing the Currie Cup round robin stage separated from two rounds to one, each of the seven sides will only play six matches before the semi-finalists are determined.
It means that a poor run of results is harder to bounce back from.
"It starts from the first game and there is no second chance to get back into the season if you lose the first two games," Sharks prop Juan Schoeman said.
"Winning from the start is very important because it's such a short season."
The Blue Bulls, meanwhile, were impressive in their tournament opener this past weekend as they smashed the Free State Cheetahs 34-12 in Bloemfontein.
Schoeman has watched that game, and he says the Sharks have a few ideas of what to expect.
"We've seen their line speed is massive and at scrum time they will bring it,"
"There is going to be a challenge at the set phases and then with the line speed we'll have to know what to do with ball in hand."