Cape Town - Sharks assistant coach Dick Muir says they are determined to prove their doubters wrong in Saturday’s Super Rugby quarter-final against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
The Sharks sneaked into the playoffs after beating the Jaguares 20-10 in Durban last weekend to finish in eighth spot on the overall standings.
They will now face the defending champion Crusaders, who finished top of the standings after winning 14 of 16 matches.
Not many pundits are giving the Sharks a chance to upset the Crusaders, but Muir said the team “is ready to have a go”.
“There’s a lot of excitement, the team had a long haul getting to Christchurch but everyone is in good spirits. We’re coming off a good win,” Muir told the Sharks’ official website.
“They (the Crusaders) have the players but our expectations are pretty high as we get to the business end of the competition. Not too many people are giving us a chance so it’s a great opportunity to prove them wrong.”
The Sharks will face a Crusaders starting XV featuring 12 All Blacks.
“The Crusaders have made their presence felt in the competition. They’ve played a brand of rugby that has brought them a lot of success and we’re respectful of that,” Muir added.
Saturday’s clash kicks off at 09:35 (SA time).
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen,
11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du
Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Tyler
Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai ‘Beast’
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Wian Vosloo, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Makazole Mapimpi