Sharks claim underdogs tag
Sean Everitt (Gallo Images)
Durban - Are the Sharks underdogs for the Currie Cup final against Western Province at Newlands on Saturday?
Their backline coach Sean Everitt seems to think so after stating they would be happy to take that tag into the game.
Last year, the Sharks were heavy favourites against a young and inexperienced WP side, only to be stunned 25-18
in the final at Kings Park.
They also lost twice to WP in the Currie Cup this year, 25-19
at Newlands in early September, and 17-13
in Durban two weeks ago.
“The guys are in good spirits and obviously very excited at the challenge,” Everitt told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick
“We’re definitely the underdogs, and we don’t mind that. But we’re going down there to win the Currie Cup, not to just compete in the final.”
While there are only a handful of training sessions left before the big game, as the domestic season comes to a climactic end, there isn’t a whole lot the team can do any different, and that’s exactly how they like it.
They’ve got this far doing what they have been all season and it seems unnecessary to fix what ‘ain’t broke’.
“We’re going to work hard on our defence, we know that Western Province want to play, and to get their x-factor players like Cheslin Kolbe and Gio Aplon into the game. Those two players had the most line-breaks in their semi-final against the Lions, so we are going to have to watch them, but at the same time, if we can nullify those players, they are going to have to work really hard to score tries against us.
“At this stage, we have no interest in changing plans, we’ll stick with what’s worked for us. The guys have done really well as far as territory is concerned and won the territory battle in all the games we’ve played, that’s a strength of ours.”
Meanwhile, the Sharks have also welcomed the news that Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis was cleared for the final
Du Plessis appeared before a SARU judicial committee in Cape Town after he was cited for stamping on Free State Cheetahs flank Pieter Labuschagné in their Currie Cup semi-final at Kings Park in Durban last Saturday.
Advocate André Oosthuizen on Monday reserved his judgment on the matter, and cleared Du Plessis of the charge on Tuesday.
In his judgment, Oosthuizen ruled that based on the facts placed before him by the player and the assistant referee Cobus Wessels, as well as the video footage viewed during the enquiry, the contact Du Plessis made with Labuschagne was accidental.
The final kicks off at 17:30 on Saturday.