robdylan

Matt Stevens speaks ahead of the game


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 3 Feb 2015 at 14:24
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Courtesy of the Sharks and their website editor, Michael Marnewick, here’s what Sharks prop Matt Stevens had to say ahead of Thursday’s match against Toulon.

Weather

It’s a beautiful summer’s day. It will be a little bit chilly but that’s fine. It’s a welcome change to the Durban humidity.

Preparation

In terms of our preparation, we’ve prepared brilliantly. We have a fit team and we’re raring to go and looking forward to playing the best side in the Northern Hemisphere. It will be a tough challenge but one we are looking forward to.

Rugby style North vs South

There is a bigger focus on forward play in the north, but at the Sharks. We’re pretty keen on forward play too and how we’re going to play this game. We’re looking forward to this challenge, it’s good for us to test ourselves against a team like Toulon, filled with internationals, some of the best players in the world. I think they will be keen to toss the ball around as well, so we don’t expect it to be a game of north versus south.

Toulon have a number of players from the southern hemisphere, they like to play a bit, offload the ball. Yes, they have big, strong ball-carriers and they will be very physical, but they also have the kind of players who can play wide and some serious strike runners. I guess it’s going to be a great game in terms of two good teams meeting up against each other. It will be physical but it will also be about making the right decisions at the right time and looking to attack as well.

Pre-season progress.

The way we’ve trained is as close as possible to how intense a rugby game is, that’s where the coaches have got it right and the boys are as prepared as they can be to playing top flight rugby. With the guys being in such good shape, we’re very positive about where the team is right now.

Toulon game – preparation for the Cheetahs game next week

The Cheetahs are a team that like a driving game, which Toulon do too, they drive a lot of their lineout ball, so that will be a good test for us. What’s also been indicative of Cheetahs rugby over the past 15 years or so is their ability to play a bit looser and throw the ball around. That’s something Toulon do well. So playing Toulon, the best team on paper in the Northern hemisphere in terms of club rugby, playing them will give us the best preparation to playing anyone after this.



31 Comments

  • I wish Johnny Wilkinson was still playing. It would’ve been absolutely awesome seeing Lambie vs Wilkinson.

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.02.15 14:29:18 by KingRiaan Reply
    KingRiaanTeam captain
     
  • I’m pretty keen to see Burden v Bismarck/Cooper

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.02.15 14:33:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • Does anyone know whether Toulon will field a strong side?

    Arent they in the middle of their season which would mean that they’ll play a ‘mid week’ side against us?

    Sorry if that’s an ignorant question.

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.02.15 14:36:15 by John Galt Reply

    John GaltCurrie Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Ooooh, forgot about that little match up! It’s going to be colossal! :shock:

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.02.15 14:38:03 by Bump Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : YES!

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.02.15 14:57:20 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @John Galt (Comment 3) : They have a mid season break in the Top 14. I am guessing it is a Thursday game because there is a 6 nations game on Friday and Saturday. Toulon won’t be too hard done by as they barely have any French players in the team.

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.02.15 15:01:00 by lostfish Reply
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  • Regarding the weather, snow is expected in Provence. It rarely snows here so the Sharks are probably freezing their fins off.

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.02.15 15:02:14 by lostfish Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Burden has been in fine form for Toulon.

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.02.15 15:02:46 by lostfish Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Where as Bismark is a brute beast, Burden is more mobile.. which may come in handy once the game opens up later on. This is going to be great to watch! Kick off is a bit late, but to be honest I am so hungry for some Sharks rugga, I would still watch if the game was at 3h00 in the morning. And they played the border bulldogs. :razz:

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.02.15 15:16:14 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Another Nick (Comment 9) :

    Yeah, can’t wait … and if it’s a good game,maybe I’ll watch it again right after.

    At least I have the Crusaders game stored on my PVR. I’ve watched it three more times since the end of the rugby season.

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.02.15 15:18:46 by Letgo Reply
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  • I’m also curious to see what team Toulon fields.

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.02.15 15:19:23 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : yes that’s going to be a huge one!!!! Love both players!!!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.02.15 15:24:16 by JD Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 6) : ja that’s true they should lose more players for the old Tri-Nations than the hr Six Nations.

  • Comment 13, posted at 03.02.15 15:27:19 by JD Reply
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  • According to the the teamsheets of their last couple of matches Burden hasn’t been playing.

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.02.15 15:42:19 by Letgo Reply
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  • In fact the last game Burden played for them was 2 November 2014 vs Grenoble, as far as I can see.

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.02.15 16:00:23 by Letgo Reply
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  • What time is the game guys?

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.02.15 16:05:41 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 10) : Ha! Good choice! One of my favorites for last year was the Springbok game vs. All Blacks with Pat’s famous kick.. ah yes. @Letgo (Comment 15) : Because of injury? If so, then there is every chance of him missing the game on Thursday.. :???:

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.02.15 16:07:20 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Letgo (Comment 14) : He tore an arm muscle against Grenoble – I think… before that he was playing some great rugby.

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.02.15 16:20:06 by lostfish Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 16) : 9pm French time

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.02.15 16:20:50 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 18) : To bad, would have been great to see him play again and yes, also heard good things about him playing for Toulon.

  • Comment 20, posted at 03.02.15 16:32:50 by Letgo Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 19) : Thanks.

  • Comment 21, posted at 03.02.15 16:37:20 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @lostfish (Comment 19) : What’s the best thing to do about parking for the game? Any idea?

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.02.15 16:55:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 18) : pity. You going to the game?

  • Comment 23, posted at 03.02.15 17:19:32 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : geez I’m jealous! !!

  • Comment 24, posted at 03.02.15 17:21:13 by JD Reply
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  • 1 Xavier Chiocci (6)
    2 Guilhem Guirado (6)
    3 Carl Hayman (5)
    4 Bakkies Botha (5)
    5 Ali Williams (4)
    6 Juan Smith (6)
    7 Steffon Armitage (7)
    8 Chris Masoé (8)
    9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde (6)
    10 Nicolas Sanchez (8)
    11 Bryan Habana (7)
    12 Maxime Mermoz (7)
    13 Mathieu Bastareaud (7)
    14 Drew Mitchell (8)
    15 Lee Halfpenny (7)

    1 Alexandre Menini (4)
    2 Jean-Charles Orioli (3)
    3 Levan Chilachava (3)
    4 Romain Taofifenua (3)
    5 Jocelino Suta (3)
    6 Gerhard Vosloo (2)
    7 MaMuka Gorgodze (2)
    8 Fernandez Lobbe
    9 Eric Escande (2)
    10 Juan Martin Hernandez (2)
    11 David Smith (3)
    12 Matt Giteau
    13 Rudi Wulf (2)
    14 David Smith
    15 Delon Armitage

    In the last 10 games, these are the players Toulon has been using (according to number behind each player name).

  • Comment 25, posted at 03.02.15 17:38:34 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 25) : Hectic. I wonder who will be starting for us?

  • Comment 26, posted at 03.02.15 18:03:57 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Yes please!

  • Comment 27, posted at 03.02.15 19:13:33 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 25) : must say that’s some awesome players to call on!!!!!!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 03.02.15 19:29:09 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : Didn’t see this here before :roll:

  • Comment 29, posted at 03.02.15 22:04:30 by lostfish Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 23) : I sure am. Hoping not to freeze to death ;-)

  • Comment 30, posted at 03.02.15 22:05:35 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 30) : enjoy it and break out the thick winter jackets!!!! Go Sharks!!!!

  • Comment 31, posted at 03.02.15 22:38:15 by JD Reply
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