Durban - The Sharks have the rare good fortune of being able to name an unchanged matchday 22 for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby showdown with the Force at Kings Park, according to Sharks website
editor Michael Marnewick.
This is the first time this season that coach John Plumtree has been able to retain the same 22 that started in a previous game as he rewards form and enjoys much-needed continuity without the dreaded injury bug striking.
“The players were annoyed with themselves after the Chiefs game when they created opportunities but failed to finish and we’ve been hard on ourselves at training; we’ve focused on tidying up our skills,” explains Plumtree.
While the Sharks have faced criticism for not scoring more tries in their 28-16 defeat of the Highlanders last weekend, the plain and simple fact remains: you have to win your games if you want to progress in this competition. And given the fact that a tough month of fixtures looms, when The Sharks will look to pick up as many log points as possible, building a run of good form before the June break is imperative.
“The key thing is winning, winning breeds confidence,” explained the Sharks coach. “If we have extra belief and confidence in our ability and train with smiles on our faces because we have log points, that helps unbelievably.”
Of last Saturday night’s win, Plumtree admits that it was built off a sound defensive effort, where the tackling stats back up their desire to put in a good performance in that facet of the game.
“We’re always going to set a plan in place, sometimes it works nicely and sometimes it fails – that’s sport – but there is no coincidence that when our defence functions very well, we win. That’s what we’ve seen in this competition this year.”
15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Ryan Kankowski, 21 Frederic Michalak, 22 Meyer BosmanForce: