Durban - The Sharks hope to bring a smile to the Durban faithful one last time in this season's Super Rugby tournament when they bring down the curtain on their 2013 campaign against the Kings at Kings Park on Saturday.
According to the Sharks' official website
, stand-in coach, Hugh Reece-Edwards wants one last clinical performance to cap off what has been a disappointing Super Rugby season for the men from Durban.
"It’s a home game, so hopefully there will be a decent crowd because the players want to thank their supporters," Reece-Edwards explained.
"For some players it’s their final fixture before moving on, so there is a bit of emotion, but we really just want to go out and play some good rugby.
"The bottom line is to come out and perform, the players know they are coming off a good performance against the Bulls, and we want to finish off the season well and perhaps end in seventh place.
"That’s not good enough, but it’s far better than the 10th place we’re in now."
The Kings have already named a side that boasts 12 changes to the one which ran out against the Stormers last week, something Reece-Edwards says the Sharks have been doing all season and will hope stands them in good stead as they head into the Currie Cup.
"We’ve been experimenting most of the season because of all the players that have been out," he said.
"Now we have guys coming back, if we had been able to make the playoffs, I think it would have been exciting because we now have at least a full set of forwards to choose from and players that haven’t played too much rugby.
"So I guess to an extent, there is an element of building towards the Currie Cup for those that will be involved but it’s a game that we want to finish off, and finish off well."
With Pat Lambie looking more and more likely to miss this game with a back complaint – he didn’t train on Tuesday – and Butch James
out on suspension, the Sharks could have been in a spot of trouble were it not for the timely return of Meyer Bosman
and JP Pietersen
, back from their respective injuries.
"With 10 and 12 out, Meyer comes in and he can play at either position, but he will probably end up at 12.
will likely move into 10 where he has played before.
"Louis Ludik will stay where he is at outside centre, JP
can come in on the wing and then we’ll look at Odwa at fullback."
However, Reece-Edwards is thrilled at having Springbok wing JP Pietersen
back from injury to the side.
is one of those guys that brings a bit of laughter to the team.
"He’s relaxed and it’s always good to have a player like that in the side.
"He wants to score tries and wants to do well and hopefully he’ll be in good form."
Reece-Edwards reminisced on what might have been and dismissed any thoughts of the team dedicating their performance to any departing player or coach.
"We did alright against the Blues, even though we only snuck through with a last-minute try, but I think it was an important victory given what had happened during the course of the week leading up to it.
"Against the Bulls, the guys really went out to play and we know how we could have won that.
"All we are looking to do is finish it off the same way.
"It’s about moving forward as a team and looking to get the best possible results."
In this, his last game as co-coach, he admits that he’d rather that the emotion is removed from the game, that the match isn’t about people but rather a style of play and a good result.
"I don’t like it to be a case of ‘let’s play for this guy or that guy’.
"That can take away from the rugby itself.
"There are players and coaches leaving, but at the end of the day it’s really just about the 80 minutes that’s going to count to whether it’s a good send-off or not.
"So it’s about the rugby."