Super Rugby not won in Feb - Kanko
Durban - Returning Sharks loose forward Ryan Kankowski admits that Super Rugby cannot be won in February, but believes poor results at the start of the competition could be critical once the play-offs edge closer in mid-year.
The Durban franchise lost their opening match of the season after they went down to the Cheetahs, while their opponents for this weekend have lost both their opening games, to the Stormers and Hurricanes respectively.
"You never want to go into Super Rugby losing the first few games," said Kankowski, who has only just returned from a club rugby stint in Japan.
"As everybody knows, you can’t win Super Rugby in the first few rounds but you can lose it."
The 29-year-old Springbok number eight believed the Pretoria franchise would be hurting from the back-to-back losses and was expecting a backlash when the two South African powerhouses clash at Loftus Versfeld this weekend.
"They will be anxious to start winning soon, especially against SA teams because winning the conference has such big advantages.
"We are expecting a very tough game against them."
Kankowski has been plying his trade in Japan for the past few months, along with the quartet of Jean Deysel, JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn --the latter pair still having yet to return.
While he was away, the Sharks have undergone plenty of changes with a new director of rugby and, on the field, some further competition too.
Players like Renaldo Bothma and Jean Deysel have signed, but Kankowski has welcomed the competition.
"Of course competition is always a good thing.
"We have Renaldo, myself, Marcell, Tera, Jean, Willem, Khaya, Du Preez brothers.
"There are plenty of very good players raising each others game because if you have one bad game, the next guy is in." The clash against the Bulls takes place on Saturday.