Currie Cup

Sharks coach: We aren't chasing a Kiwi brand

2017-10-26 14:31
Robert du Preez (Gallo)

Durban - Sharks coach Robert du Preez believes that too much is made in South Africa over the desire to play ball-in-hand rugby. 

Du Preez was speaking in Durban on Thursday ahead of this Saturday's Currie Cup final against Western Province at Kings Park, and the former Springbok scrumhalf has spoken of the need for patience on both defence and attack. 

Ever since the failings of the Springboks at the 2015 World Cup in England there have been calls for South African rugby to evolve. 

An attacking brand of rugby with a ball-in-hand approach was the desire, and from 2016 the country's Super Rugby sides looked to become more expansive. 

It has made for some interesting developments and some entertaining rugby, but two years on it is still only really the Lions who can claim to have evolved and that evolution started before 2015. 

This Currie Cup, where the Sharks have been dominant, the Durbanites have gone back to a more familiar South African style and it has worked for them so far. 

The emphasis is on set piece, winning the battle up front, being defensively sound and employing a good kicking game, and Du Preez says that he will continue to do what it takes to win.

"Too much gets made of ball-in-hand rugby ... I want to play winning rugby. If that means we have to kick the ball a lot, we'll do that," the coach told media on Thursday.

"This year we have played to our strength, which is our pack of forwards. Having said that, the backs on many occasions have done well with ball-in-hand, so we can do both."

That is not to say that the Sharks are not looking to develop, but Du Preez knows that it will take time.

"We want to build the way we want to play and that doesn't happen overnight," he said.

"We're not a New Zealand rugby team, we're a South African rugby team and we want to play a South African brand of rugby."

The latter stages of this season have also seen Western Province revert back to a more conservative approach. That was evident in their 19-5 semi-final win against the Lions at Newlands this past weekend. 

It suggests that things could be tight on Saturday.

"They have got a really talented squad and team, so with them sorting out their defence properly they are a very good side," Du Preez said of his opposition. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:00.

Teams:

Sharks

15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Tristan Blewett, 23 Rhyno Smith

Western Province

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Dan Kriel

Sport24's @LloydBurnard is in Durban covering the Currie Cup final...

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