The Sharks have now reached the stage that, whatever real or imagined problems their may be in the camp, those need to now be put aside. The team has their best chance of a win on tour coming up this weekend and quite simply have to do whatever it takes to secure that result.
I mean no disrespect to the Highlanders and their fans here, but the reality is, the Sharks should not be in any danger of losing this game. They’ve won regularly in Dunedin over the past few years and boast a team that, on paper at least, looks 15 points or more better than the best that the Highlanders can field. That said, the Sharks have conspired to lose to far worse teams already this year and one cannot make any sort of bold predictions based on the names or experience in the squad this year.
All of that speculation and other nonsense simply has to come to an end now, though. The Sharks are a strong team with a proud rugby tradition. They have World Cup winners aplenty in the squad and countless others with huge experience at Super 14 and Currie Cup level as well. They have shown that there is not much wrong with their defensive game and the discipline was markedly improved against the Brumbies as well. The forwards can make good ground with ball in hand and Andy Goode has proved himself a dangerous goalkicker from anywhere in the opposition half of the field. In short, the ingredients are all there – they just need to be put together in order to eke out a win.
This is not the game to make massive changes in either personnel or playing style. The Sharks need to simply focus on what they do well and cut out the errors that have marred their game over the first five rounds. The ultimate and absolute goal here has to be a victory – and victory by any margin – because the road to recovery is a long one but always has to start with a single step. Securing that result and remembering how it feels to win a game is what the Sharks need now. That, at least, will give them something on which they can build next week.
Come on Sharks, do us proud! B&WNEM!Tweet