Currie Cup

Nothing dead about WP clash

2014-10-08 21:15
Sean Everitt and Paul Anthony (Gallo Images)

Durban - The Cell C Sharks, undefeated in a run of four matches, have enjoyed a run of continuity and momentum that bodes well as the Currie Cup competition heads for the final, intriguing weeks.

Losing is a habit, but so is winning, according to Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick and the Sharks are happy to be in the latter group.

Their win over the Lions came courtesy of an 80 minute performance, a hard-earned win that secured a spot in the top four.

"The Lions are a top side, and beating them really helped with our momentum," assistant coach Paul Anthony admits.

"That win against the Bulls, away, was massive for us.

"We also had a good game against the EP Kings, and now the win against Lions.

"We are playing the tough part of the tournament at the moment, so to come through and beat two teams that people didn’t expect us to, is huge for us.

"It also softens having lost to teams we never thought we would lose to.

"So it’s a really big boost of confidence for the boys which then keeps the momentum going into this weekend."

While beating the likes of the Lions and Blue Bulls is cause for some - albeit minor - celebration, the losses to the Pumas and Griquas were huge disappointments at the time, but demonstrate just how tough the Currie Cup really is.

At one stage, the Pumas were undefeated at home and Griquas have always proved to be a serious thorn in the side of the bigger unions.

On losing to teams you probably shouldn’t and beating teams you possibly shouldn’t, Paul Anthony admits that, "the nature of this competition is that anyone can beat anyone else.

"And that’s why, this weekend we’d like to go and win in Cape Town.

"The next thing, the Cheetahs beat the Lions and we’re looking at a home semi.

"This competition is all there to play for; for everyone. And that’s what makes it so exciting.”

Although it’s a dead rubber for Western Province who can’t finish any lower than first on the log, regardless of the result of this weekend’s match, they are sure to look to keep their momentum going.

"It’s up to them if they want to keep momentum or rest players.

"They’ve earned that right to decide what they want to do but we want to win, we’re going there to win.

"The one thing about Province is that they’re not beaten until they’re beaten.

"They have the incredible ability to exploit errors, if you look at their tries, they exploit their opportunities really effectively.

"They have very intelligent players so we can leave no preparation left untouched.

"We have to go there and get our set-piece together because we weren’t on top of our game on the weekend.

"I think our scrummaging has improved, it’s not where we’d like it to be, but we are working hard and I’m confident we will do well there.

"We also want to improve our lineouts, we slipped up there a bit, but we know where we went wrong and we’ve addressed that.

"We want to get our set-piece to a point where both our lineout and scrum are really good and keep working on our defence."

The Sharks defensive lineout work has been outstanding in the last few weeks, certainly a major disruption tool.

"This weekend, we stole five of their throws which is massive," explains Anthony.

"We lost two or three which we’re not happy with, but we still continue to get into their faces.

"I also get the feeling we’re on the turnaround as far as scrummaging goes, I think we are on top of it, we understand where we can strengthen, we’ve assessed our weak points and we’re working hard on them all the time.

"And we’ll continue to work hard at them until the conclusion of the tournament."


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