Rugby and more Rugby!

The Rugby Championship and Currie Cup are in full swing. Who are the early title favourites? Have your say on our Forum!

LIVE

    Sharks look ahead to playoffs

    2014-07-15 05:00
    Durban - The Cell C Sharks 34-10 defeat of the Stormers at Newlands laid the perfect platform for the knockout stages of the 2014 Super Rugby tournament when they host the Highlanders in Durban on Saturday.

    Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick reports that Saturday's man-of-th-match Marcell Coetzee explained after the game that his family are after his regular awards and he shares them (he’s won three this season already) around.

    "This was a game when two sides went all out at each other and I’d like to commend the Stormers for really showing good form," he said.

    "Playing against a quality side like them (the Stormers), and a quality loose forward trio like theirs really brings out the best in you."

    Stormers captain Schalk Burger said in his final game for the Stormers before he heads over to play in Japan that the Sharks took their chances when opportunities presented themselves.

    "That’s the mark of a championship side," he admitted afterwards.

    "They created just a couple of opportunities – fewer than us – but they grabbed all of them.

    "They’re a tough team to play, they wrapped up the South African conference a while back and that shows their class.

    "They were top of the log for most of the season, and us and the Bulls were languishing down in 10th and 11th place.

    "So all credit to them, they’ve been a superb side this year."

    Bismarck du Plessis, captain of the Sharks was thrilled with his team’s showing in this final pool game where they were severely tested but came out trumps in all areas.

    "We really stuck to our guns in this match," he explained of his team’s commitment.

    "We had said that we wanted to play minute by minute and after having scored three tries by the end of the game, we would have loved to play another couple of minutes."

    Despite such an overwhelming advantage to the Stormers in terms of possession stakes, they were unable to add to their first half tally of just 10 points which was testament to the fantastic defensive effort from the Sharks.

    He admitted that it would stand them in good stead for the playoffs where the focus is not on chasing bonus points or points’ differential, but purely on winning games.

    And making sure of closing out any chances they may get.

    "We had three opportunities and we took all three against the Stormers.

    "In playoff rugby you might not even get that many.

    "We just want to win the next three games."

    Taking momentum into the knockout stages was one of the most critical aims and they accomplished it with the victory.

    "We wouldn’t have come into this game with the pressure on us had we won those last two games, but that’s all in the past," Du Plessis admitted in light of the previous two games (losses to the Cheetahs and Stormers).

    "We now play the Highlanders in the quarter-final at Kings Park and I hope we have a full stadium and that all of South Africa gets behind us and cheer us on."

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    46 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read
    Commented

    Results

    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.