Sharks wary of Cheetah threat
Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree has warned his players that the Cheetahs will be no pushovers in their Currie Cup semi-final at Kings Park here on Saturday.
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The Sharks were highly impressive when they mauled the Golden Lions 53-9 at home last week, leaving many to predict an easy victory for the Durbanites.
But coach Plumtree will hear none of it. “We will need to play really well to beat this Cheetahs side, it’s not a given if we just turn up and the players understand that because of the history between the two teams," Plumtree told Sharks website editor, Michael Marnewick.
“But it’s really exciting. We’re really enjoying this week. Our focus is on getting our preparation done and looking forward to Saturday.”
The Cheetahs are a great attacking side, boasting the most tries in this year's competition, but the Sharks coach is confident their strong defensive system will be able to hold the men from Bloemfontein out.
“We’ve conceded the least number of tries of all the teams, we back our D [defence],” explained Plumtree. “They scored a few against us in Bloemfontein, so we understand that they are very excited about attack, with some outstanding attacking players.
However, the coach expects his charges - now boosted with several World Cup Springboks - to fire on all cylinders come Saturday.
“It also can’t just be about our defence that we bring to the party. That’s a huge focus but we want to attack well, we want our set piece to function, we want our kicking game to function. It’s about getting all the areas good and not one area great and others poor. We have to perform well in all areas if we want to go through to the Currie Cup Final.”
The Sharks are expected to name their team on Thursday.
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Ashley Johnson, 6 Pieter Labuschagne, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Philip van der Walt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Marcel van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Johan Wessels, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Nico Scheepers