Gloucester wary of Sharks rough


You have to be careful of a shark, it can bite you when you least expect it.

This, in a nutshell, is George Skivington’s warning to his players before Friday’s European Challenge Cup final between the Sharks and Gloucester at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

“The Sharks have a number of high-profile players, guys who can pull a rabbit out of a hat on a rugby field. From their backs and Eben Etzebeth to their successful front line,” said Skivington.

Stars such as Etzebeth, Vincent Koch, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nché and Grant Williams are preparing for the showdown in the English capital.

“They have players who can change the course of a game in the blink of an eye and we have to steel ourselves for that.”

Both teams followed a similar route to the final.

Just as things went badly with the Sharks in the United Rugby Championship, Gloucester also struggled in the English Premier League.

The team went down in 13 games, including a 90-0 loss against the Northampton Saints.

Skivington is therefore desperate to deliver a good performance against the Sharks.

“It is our goal to win a trophy for Gloucester. When you play in a final, you have to throw everything into the battle to walk off the field victorious.”

The Sharks will of course also want to end their season with a silverware performance. A string of consecutive defeats crushed their HRC dream, but they passed a major test of character in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup against Clermont.

The Durbanites eventually beat the French club 32-31 at the Twickenham Stoop after facing a 28-18 half-time deficit.

“We simply refused to throw in the towel. This is the path I want to walk with this team. We may lose a game, but it’s never okay to just give up,” said Plumtree after the matchup.

Hopefully they now hold onto that same towel just as tightly against Gloucester.

The match starts at 21:00 on Friday and the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport.