Sharks thriving on confidence

    2014-05-27 17:00

    Durban - Shark centre Paul Jordaan says the Super Rugby leaders are thriving on the confidence gained from their Australasian tour.

    There was plenty of optimism in camp as they prepared for the final match before the international break after the weekend, Jordaan said in Durban on Tuesday.

    "We got a lot of confidence from the tour where we were the first South African side to win overseas this season," he said.

    "It's not easy to beat sides in New Zealand and we're definitely on a high and will look to improve on it this weekend."

    The franchise hosts the Stormers at Kings Park on Saturday, fresh off returning from New Zealand where they completed a clean sweep, beating the Crusaders and Blues.

    The victory in Christchurch, one of the greatest in their history, was especially impressive after it played with 14 men and Jordaan said they were still reaping the rewards of that 30-25 scoreline.

    "The Crusaders win helped us grow a lot as a team and we definitely need to build on that, but the match against the Stormers will be a tough a game."

    Apart from the wins against the seven-time champions -- the first by a South African side in almost 13 years -- and the Blues in Albany, the Sharks also beat the Rebels in Australia, where their only reverse was against the Brumbies in Canberra.

    Jordaan said director of rugby Jake White had been a key figure in allowing the group to grow in confidence.

    "Jake tried to help us relax a lot and we did a lot of fun things on tour.

    "I guess a happy team is a winning team, so we had a good time and were fortunate to come away with three out of four wins from the tour."

    The 22-year-old believed the Sharks were now set up nicely for the remainder of the season.

    With only three regular-season games to go, they were sitting five points clear of the Waratahs at the summit, although the Sydney-based outfit do have a game in hand.

    After hosting the Stormers, the season goes into a June break for the international season. The Sharks were due to visit Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs and travel to Cape Town in their remaining games.

    They would need to top the log to have every chance of winning the title for the first time -- the number one spot gives the team home advantage all the way through the play-offs.

    "I think we've set ourselves up nicely throughout the season," Jordaan said.

    "We just need to stay composed and work harder. If all goes well, we'll hopefully keep our spot."

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