The Sharks have very little to play for against the Western Force on Friday night, with neither side still in semi-final contention. The Durban side should nevertheless use the opportunity to further improve their attacking game.
An emphasis on defence and tactical kicking have become a virtual byword for the Sharks’ play over the last two seasons under John Plumtree, yet somehow perversely, their best performances always seem to come about when they deviate from that strategy and keep ball in hand. Last week’s unexpected triumph against the Stormers was no exception and while the Sharks must be applauded for spending so much extra time with the ball, rather than without, the reality is that they scarcely got enough reward for their dominance.
Plenty of tries were left on the table last week with virtually every player in the outside backs (bar Pat Lambie) guilty of poor decision-making and woeful finishing during the course of the game. It’s unfair to blame the players, since they’ve hardly seen the ball all year, but it is important that the same tacticas are employed this week – hopefully leading to a far more emphatic result.
The Sharks need to score tries, in short. Lots of them! I would argue that an emphasis on scoring at least four is almost more important than winning the match, although I could be swayed on that point.
Working in their favour should be a good bit of selection continuity, with Jacques Botes expected to replace the injured Willem Alberts as the only change to the team. If rumours are to be believed, this may be Botes’s last game for the Sharks, so let’s hope for a good one.Tweet