Win over Lions boosts Sharks
Durban - Keegan Daniel believes the Sharks will draw plenty of confidence from their weekend thumping of the Lions in Durban as they prepare for Saturday’s Currie Cup semi-final against the Cheetahs.
The defending champions cruised to a 53-9 win at Kings Park, with the result earning them a home advantage in the play-offs.
"If you play against a top-of-the-log team and you manage to put 50 points up against them, you’re going to take a bit of confidence out of that," the Sharks captain said on Tuesday.
"Having said that, there were a lot of areas that we weren’t too happy with. It’s the end of the round-robin games and we’ll have to tighten up a bit more in some aspects and play well on Saturday."
The Sharks, who were severely affected by World Cup call-ups, had struggled week in and week out prior to last week, as they tried to match the heights of the last campaign.
However, with their Springboks back in the fold, they dominated from start to finish against a Lions team that had rested several of their key men after having already secured top spot on the log.
Patrick Lambie and Odwa Ndungane started the game, while Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, along with Willem Alberts and JP Pietersen came off the bench. All six, however, are expected to start the semi-final.
"I think when you get guys like Bismarck back, Jannie and someone like Willem Alberts, who are known as ball carriers then it’s a massive boost and you welcome them with open arms," said Daniel.
"Their ability to get you over the gain line most times when they carry the ball and they are exceptionally good in defence as well.
"So they all have been a great boost to our squad and our team and their attitude coming back from the World Cup has been phenomenal."
Another of their World Cup stars, prop Tendai Mtawarira, is also available.
On the injury front centre Adrian Jacobs is expected to be fit, along with winger Lwazi Mvovo (both hamstring), but forward Jean Deysel (back) faces a late fitness test.
Jacques Botes will make his 100th Currie Cup appearance for the men in black, joining veteran back Stefan Terblanche, who achieved the feat two weeks earlier.