Sharks in knockout mode

    2013-07-02 23:00
    Hugh Reece-Edwards (Gallo Images)
    Durban - Sharks assistant coach, Hugh Reece-Edwards says they will go into their clash with the Bulls in a ruthless frame of mind.

    They will go into this weekend's crunch Super Rugby clash against the Bulls with a relatively clean bill of health coming out of Saturday’s win over the Blues relatively unscathed.

    The Sharks website reports that no new names will be added to the already long injury list at the Durban-based franchise, something Sharks assistant coach, Hugh Reece-Edwards, is very happy about.

    "It’s unknown not to get an injury or two, so it’s great that we have the same squad to pick from for this weekend’s game," admitted a smiling Reece-Edwards.

    "Unfortunately, we don’t have any backs returning from injury this week, Meyer Bosman and JP Pietersen could be ready next week although we don’t know when Tim Whitehead will be ready, there is a possibility of next week though.

    "So we’re still short amongst the backs, but Ryan Kankowski played a club game and he’s adding to the growing number of forwards we can start choosing from.

    "So we have the same squad available from last week - the same squad that did the job last week - and we just hope we can go and do the job again this week."

    Reece-Edwards was quick to leap to the defence of flyhalf Patrick Lambie, who had an uncharacteristically erratic day with the boot against the Blues.

    "I don’t think Pat is too concerned about last week, he had an off day and probably the only one he’s had the entire year.

    "He’s settled back here quite nicely after being away at the Springbok camp.

    "I also don’t think there will be much problem this weekend, it’s always lovely kicking up on the Highveld, so I’m sure he’ll relish that."

    Reece-Edwards admitted that he is looking forward to Bismarck du Plessis, who returned to the team as a substitute over the weekend, to bring his wealth of experience to the team and make an impact on proceedings, whether he starts or comes off the bench against the Bulls.

    "Bismarck has come off the bench in the Tests as well as last week for us, he knows where he fits in in the side and he’s ready to start. And if he does, he will last as long as he can and alternatively if he plays off the bench, he will certainly provide some good stealing opportunities, he’s a great guy to provide experience.

    "He’s an enforcer, so whatever role he plays, he will help the side."

    With their win over the Blues over the weekend and if results go their way in the run-in to the end of the league phase, Reece-Edwards is all too aware that the Sharks are still in with an outside shout of the playoffs, but need to beat the Conference-winning Bulls to keep those hopes alive.

    "Last time against the Bulls was almost knockout rugby as well, Morné Steyn punished us with six penalties, so our discipline has to be right up there.

    "We received a yellow card last time against them and that didn’t help.

    "It is knockout rugby for us and we are reliant on one or two other rugby results, but whatever way you look at it, we need to get two results, whether that takes us into a possible playoff or whether it’s the way we finish off the season, we aim to go out with two wins in the next two weeks."

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