Sharks hunt rare Kimberley win
Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree was wary on Tuesday of his team's next Currie Cup encounter, against Griquas in Kimberley.
The Durbanites were beaten during their last two visits to the mining city and will be keen to avoid a hat-trick of embarrassments on Saturday.
Plumtree said he realised this would not be easy against a side who were coming off a fine 42-32 win over the Lions in Johannesburg.
"The way they dismantled the Lions last week was really impressive," Plumtree told reporters.
"The try they scored at the end, 13 phases and starting from their own 22, was top drawer stuff.
"Just watching them the first couple of rounds, they haven’t been playing for 80 minutes, but they did on the weekend. They dominated pretty much for 80 minutes as well against a very good Lions side, who are the Currie Cup champions.
"They’re always up for every contest, so we’ve got a lot of respect for them."
The Sharks were beaten 43-22 by Griquas last year, and went down 40-34 in 2010.
Plumtree said the Northern Cape outfit was a complete side and he hailed the influence of fullback Willie le Roux, a 23-year-old product of Paul Roos Gymnasium.
"They have some key performers in their side that are running the ship and we’ve got to look after those guys because they’re playing really well," the coach said.
"One of those is obviously Willie Le Roux, he’s a massive threat.
"I like the way they use him and I think he could develop into one of the best attacking backs in South Africa.
"He’s quick, he’s got a great step, he’s got a beautiful pass. He’s just going to get better and better that guy. He’s got a big future."
Plumtree Plumtree-Louis-Fouche-bag-accolades-20120904">was named Coach of the Month on Tuesday for taking his under-strength Sharks team to the top of the log in August.
Eight players are currently away on Springbok duty, while a further two national certainties Bismarck du Plessis and JP Pietersen are injured.
Several other key players are also injured, but the Sharks still sit top of the log, three points clear of Western Province after their come-from-behind 34-32 win over Free State Cheetahs at the weekend.
"With one round to go in the first round, to be where we are is a pretty good effort," he said.
"I’ve been really happy with the way we’ve applied ourselves to date.
"We showed glimpses of very good play, but we’ve been quite average as well. I guess every side can say that. It’s not a long competition, but it’s important to gradually improve and I think we’re doing that."
Steven Sykes is the only injury concern ahead of the trip to Kimberley after sitting out all week with a rib problem.