The Sharks, back on top of the Currie Cup standings, are eagerly awaiting the return of their Springbok players – which will be a significant boost to the defending champions.
It was an impressive 29-23 win over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria at the weekend that saw the Sharks regain first place.
With just four rounds left ahead of the play-offs, the Sharks take a lot of confidence into the final month of the pool stages.
And with the Boks to be filtered into the team from this weekend – when they will face the Free State Cheetahs in Durban – the coastal outfit is confident that they will be able to maintain their lofty position on the standings.
They will also face Leopards (in Durban), Lions (Durban) and Griquas (in Kimberley) – before the semifinals on October 17.
“I think everything is just going really well for us, there are a bunch of happy guys here and everyone is working towards the same end result,” centre Andries Strauss said in an interview on sharksrugby.co.za.
“For the Boks coming now and the guys who will make way for them, we’re just pleased that we could have contributed in such a way that the team can now go forward and hopefully lift the Cup at the end of the season again.”
He made it clear that the ‘team first’ motto is alive and well in the Shark Tank.
“We’re all one big family and the guys that don’t go onto the field are just as much a part of the team as those who do and I think that’s one thing that possibly sets us apart, and that’s what makes The Sharks so special.”
He said a team as a group succeed where a team of individuals fail.
“Rugby is a team sport and it doesn’t really matter who goes out onto the field, it’s the end result that counts and everyone takes pride in their performance whether it’s in the pool stages or the Final.”
In Argentinean international Juan Hernandez and Springbok Stefan Terblanche, the Sharks have two very special players, who showed the importance of experience against the Blue Bulls at the weekend.
“Since Stefan took over the captaincy, he’s done a brilliant job,” Strauss said.
“He’s kept the team together and maintained a happy environment and he’s led by example and been playing really well. When the ball gets kicked into your half, you know he is there to gather and punish the opposition.
“Juan brings a different aspect to the game, as did Freddy [Michalak] when he played here and it’s nice to have someone of his stature dictating the game and he did it brilliantly on the weekend.”
So where to from here for The Sharks?
“We just have to stick to what’s been working for us. Yes we are getting the Boks back but it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to change the way we’ve been playing. We’ve been successful because we’ve continued to do what has worked so well for us and there no point in trying to fix what isn’t broken.”
Article courtesy of Rugby 365Tweet