Jake to fine-tune Sharks attack
Melbourne - The Cell C Sharks will look to build on a successful start to their tour, getting it off to a winning start after their 22-16 defeat of the Melbourne Rebels, as they prepare for the Brumbies on Saturday.
According to Sharks website editor
, Michael Marnewick
, putting aside the weekly disruptions that seem to affect their continuity, there were some areas of the game that they would like to improve on as they prepare for what is expected to be one of their toughest assignments of a tough tour.
"Our attack has probably struggled a little, but you know, it looked like we’d scored a try in the first couple of minutes, and it was disallowed," admitted Sharks director of rugby, Jake White
, after the game.
"After travelling around the world, and then you don’t get a call going your way like that one, then I guess it does tend to put a bit of pressure on the players.
"But I’m just happy that we got the win, and now we can build on the rest of the tour."
The Rebels scored a try reminiscent of one conceded by the Springboks, but White shrugged it off.
"It’s a try at the end of the day," he said.
"I experienced that sort of thing before in Ireland, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
"I’ve seen that movie before. As much as I didn’t think it shouldn’t have been a try against Ireland, it stayed on the record, and that will be the same case this time around."
White felt there were some big contributions and whilst loathe to talk about individuals, felt they deserved praise.
"I hate singling out players because it’s always a team effort.
"But Jean and Lwazi did play very well, we saw how much we missed Jean’s presence last week, and now we’ve seen the impact Jean and Bismarck have when they’re back as senior players, it lifts the performance of everyone around them."
He also paid tribute to a team who conceded 64 points to the Cell C Sharks at Kings Park last year, but gave them a run for their money in Melbourne.
They’ve defeated the Brumbies this year already and have a good record at AAMI Park.
"I think the Rebels have shown with Tony McGahan there what they can do.
"He’s one of the real gentlemen of rugby, and I really enjoyed the time that I was in Canberra working with him when he was assistant at the Wallabies.
"I’m happy for him, the Rebels are playing with a lot of passion and togetherness.
"They don’t lie down and die anymore.
"It says a lot about the culture he has created here.”Marcell Coetzee
is returning to Durban after suffering a tour-ending injury
, with Jacques Botes
joining the team on the weekend as his replacement.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s top of the table clash with the Brumbies in Canberra is shaping up to be one of the more highly-anticipated games of the regular season.
The Brumbies were shocked by the Crusaders on the weekend, losing 40-20, the two-time champions going down to the team that has won the tournament seven times.
That loss, coupled with the Cell C Sharks defeat of the Rebels, allowed them to open up a five point buffer at the top of the log over the second-placed Brumbies, adding even more spice to the fixture and a real carrot for the Durban side, intent on making this tour one of their most successful ever.