We’ve come too far this season to lose focus now. This was the sentiment expressed by Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford ahead of Saturday’s match against the Griquas, which, although it pales in significance when compared to the imminent play-offs, is still of immense importance.
Craig Lewis writes for IOL.
Every indication from the Sharks camp this week is that it will be a no-nonsense, extremely purposeful Sharks side that takes to the Absa Stadium turf on Saturday at 3pm.
They will not be trying anything expansive or flashy, but instead will be fully focused on putting together a clinical, accurate and comprehensive team performance that they can be “proud of”.
“Playing well is the most important thing at this stage,” Bashford explained. “We weren’t happy with our performance against the Lions at the weekend. Although it was good enough to get us a bonus point, it wasn’t a collective effort. It’s vital we gel as a group now and carry that through to the semifinals.”
Indeed, it was a very motivated group of players that was put through its paces during training, but there was little indication as to what team Plumtree would run with this weekend.
However, you can rest assured the Sharks will be making few, if any changes to the star-studded side that beat the Lions this past weekend, with Bashford admitting they had identified a number of impressive elements in the Griquas’ arsenal.
“They have a big, strong, powerful pack and a backline with experience. There is definitely enough there to ensure we won’t be complacent. This will be their last game and they will have everything to play for. I have no doubt they’ll be up for it.”
This weekend though, no matter what Sharks team is chosen, they are sure to boast a mighty powerful bench once again.
“The depth in this squad is absolutely fantastic at the moment,” Bashford beamed. “When we make any change during the game we just know there’s going to be a good impact and that’s incredibly special.”
In many ways, the fact the Sharks still have so much they want to achieve this weekend has played nicely into their hands because Bashford admitted it was tricky not to get caught up in the hype surrounding their imminent home semifinal and the possibility of a home final.
“There’s still a lot to be done before the play-offs so we’ve told the guys to try not to be drawn into the hype at the moment. We have been in positions similar to this before and so it’s just business as usual.”Tweet