Cape Town - There's nothing more dangerous than a wounded and cornered animal.
Sharks hooker Kerron van Vuuren will want his team-mates to keep that in mind in their approach to the crucial Currie Cup match against the desperate Blue Bulls on Saturday.
The two sides meet in a must-win clash for both franchises at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria at 19:30 in terms of semi-final places.
The men from the country’s capital are in trouble and they know it, as they face a serious threat of featuring in the promotion-relegation game if they lose to the Sharks. That’s because they are tied on nine points with the bottom-of-the-table Pumas, who have played all their round-robin matches.
Should the Bulls get a big win on Saturday and Western Province lose to the Free State Cheetahs, the Pretoria-based outfit might still sneak into the semis.
Unlike the Bulls, the Sharks head into the clash with a more realistic chance of making the semi-finals.
They just need to win.
However, according to Van Vuuren that won’t be easy, bearing in mind the situation the Bulls find themselves in.
“A wounded animal is a dangerous one, especially the Bulls as a proud union that they are,” said the 24-year-old player.
“They are going to be desperate this weekend and they are going to be dangerous. So, we need to go there with the right mindset, knowing it’s going to be a big game. We need to stick to our set plan and hopefully we will pull through a win.”
The top-of-the-table Griquas have secured their spot in the knockout phase and five other sides - Sharks, Cheetahs, Golden Lions, WP and Bulls - are still in the running for the three remaining spots.
The Sharks head to the clash on the back of two exciting victories on the trot, something they had failed to achieve in this campaign previously.
The Sean Everitt-coached side have also received a timely boost ahead of the game with two of their Springboks, Thomas du Toit and Andre Esterhuizen, being available for selection.
The two players were released from the Bok training squad and now their chances of going to the Rugby World Cup are diminished.
“We were actually speaking about it this morning, it’s always a pleasure to have Boks back in the set-up,” said Van Vuuren.
However, it still looks like Curwin Bosch won’t be available for the Bulls match as he is still to be cleared from the injury list. He is out with a lower back injury.
Weekend Currie Cup fixtures:
Saturday, August 24
Griquas v Golden Lions - 15:00
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province - 17:15
Blue Bulls v Sharks - 19:30