Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    NZ challenge excites Sharks

    2016-04-13 11:27

    Durban - The Sharks have put last week’s 24-9 home loss to the Lions behind them and are excited at the prospect of touring in New Zealand.

    On their tour, the Sharks will face the Blues (Auckland, April 16), Highlanders (Dunedin, April 22) and Chiefs (Hamilton, April 29).

    “The guys are upbeat, although obviously very disappointed after the weekend,” director of rugby Gary Gold told the Sharks’ official website.

    “A bit of game management against the Lions could have helped us, but at the end of the day, like a win, we can’t linger long after a loss. We have an unbelievably tough challenge ahead of us and all our focus is now on the Blues. What’s in the past is in the past.”

    Gold admitted that there is pressure on the team to perform on tour, but that it’s no different from the pressure they’ve been under to perform for the first five games anyway.

    “This is an exciting opportunity, we know there are people who have and who will write us off, but we are confident that we tour well and hoping we can really surprise a few people with some improved performances.”

    With the February weather behind them, the cooler climate of New Zealand could well be where the Sharks really show their potential. But cooler weather doesn’t necessarily translate into perfect conditions and

    “The heat’s not the issue, it’s the humidity in Durban. And going to New Zealand, there’s a very good chance it’s going to rain. But depending on how you see things, and if you’re an optimist - which we choose to be - then you’ll see us as having had good practice for the conditions.

    “From a ball in hand perspective we should find it more comfortable to play without the humidity and slippery ball.”

    And coming up against a team that, like the rest of their compatriots, love to attack, Gold is aware of the need to play attacking rugby too.

    “It’s well-documented that the pace of the New Zealand teams is around an attacking plan with a very high skill-base, particularly around the off-loading game and using the full length of the field.

    “When they do have ball in hand, we need to manage that and when we have possession, it’s for us to make the very best of it. To build the phases and put them under pressure. One thing about the New Zealand teams is that they don’t want to come out and defend, they much prefer being on the attack.”

    Gold believes that under Tana Umaga, the former Hurricanes and All Black great, and now Blues coach, that this is Blues team that seem to be more settled than in recent years.

    “I think the Blues have turned the corner this season, I thought they played really well against the Chiefs on the weekend and they will be very disappointed not to have won that game.

    “They will be a real threat.”

    Saturday’s clash at Eden Park is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 12:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 10:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 13:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 08:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 10:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 12:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 17:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 19:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 21:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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