Oosthuizen, Sharks 'happy' so far
Durban - The Sharks might have enjoyed a week’s break after their win over the Jaguares, but they are back into the thick of things now as they prepare for a clash with the Rebels at Kings Park on Saturday.
On paper, and given the Rebels' struggles this season, the Sharks should emerge with a victory that further solidifies their place in the Super Rugby playoff hunt.
The Sharks have lost just two of their seven fixtures so far this season while the Rebels are bottom of the Australian conference with just one victory from six.
“The guys have come back fresh, we’ve had seven weeks of brutal Vodacom Super Rugby and the bye was a chance to reset the mind and reset the body,” Sharks lock Etienne Oosthuizen told the Sharks website this week.
“It’s quite different sitting at home on the weekend, watching the games instead of playing and it gives you an opportunity to see how the other teams are playing and where they are.”
Shifting his focus to his own team and assessing how the Sharks season is going after seven weeks and six matches, Oosthuizen believes the team is in a good position.
“We are quite happy with where we are at this stage,” he said.
“Although we did let one or two games slip that we could have and should have won. But we’re very happy with the wins so far and we just need to keep winning and getting better each week.”
Oosthuizen added that after the previous physical, confrontational match against the Jaguares, the Sharks expect something different from the Rebels.
“They are typical of Australian sides in that they like to throw the ball around, so our challenge will be to stop their momentum and also to play to our game plan,” he said.
That doesn’t make the Rebels any less dangerous and despite sitting bottom of the log, they beat the Brumbies who were top of the log last weekend.
Oosthuizen admits that not too much should be read into every result. It also proves just how tight this competition is.
“It is really down to what happens on the day. One team was probably more up for it on the day, and the two teams have quite a rivalry going, matches between them are always quite tough. The Brumbies have struggled against the Rebels in the past, so this was nothing new and not totally unexpected,” he said.
On a personal level, he says that he is enjoying his season. He’s had an extended run and also picked up a call from the Springboks to participate in a training camp recently.
“I’m enjoying the game time I’ve been getting, it gives you a chance to develop your game and it helps you to improve each season. I just want to do my best for the team.”