Sharks eager to finish on high
The Sharks intend to finish the Super Rugby tournament on a high when they close their campaign at home against the Stormers at Kings Park on Saturday.
With the team out of the race for the playoffs, the Sharks know the match will be about playing for their supporters.
“Before we played the Rebels, we had spoken about finishing on a good note and that remains our aim,” explains Sharks assistant coach Sean Everitt told Sharks website editor, Michael Marnewick.
“It doesn’t matter where we are on the log, we want to play with pride because there is a lot of pride in the team and we want to finish on a high for the guys who might be playing last game in Sharks colours.”
The Sharks will be bolstered by two of their big, physically-imposing loose-forwards Marcell Coetzee and Willem Alberts. “Marcell is back from his Springbok-enforced break against the Rebels and Willem is looking good (having also missed the Rebels game, in his case a late fitness test ruling him out), so we can bolster the loose forwards,” Everitt confirms.
However, he does add that the half-back duo - also Springboks - of Pat Lambie and Cobus Reinach were not in reckoning for this match.
With the Stormers having already wrapped up the South African Conference, there is a possibility they will rest some of their more established players to give them much-needed rest ahead of the play-offs. However, Everitt admits that they will not be focussing on whether the Cape side bring an A or B team to Durban on Saturday.
“Fresh in our minds is a weakened Stormers team that came up to Durban and beat us last year. We will prepare as normal, whether they bring their full metal jacket or not. Ultimately, we want to play our game and the focus for us is one making sure we do.
“We feel we have improved with each game since our tour opened on a bad note against the Highlanders; there has been regular improvement. We finished our overseas tour by beating the Reds and then we defeated the Rebels who are not an easy outfit. They have beaten big teams, including the Bulls at the weekend.”
When asked whether the Sharks see this match as a challenge or if it was about beating the SA Conference winners?
“No, not at all,” he says. This game makes no difference to the log, but we would like to show our fans that we are up there and can beat the best in the country.”
The match will also be the last in Sharks colours for Alberts, as well as the Du Plessis brothers, Bismarck and Jannie.
The trio will further their careers in France after this year’s Rugby World Cup.
IMAGE supplied by www.bdlive.co.za
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