Sharks draw from Cup heroics

    2014-01-20 12:06
    Durban -  After delivering a fantastic showing in the 2013 Currie Cup Final - scoring both of his team’s tries when the Cell C Sharks defeated Western Province at Newlands - scrumhalf Charl McLeod is looking forward to the 2014 season.

    With 55 Super Rugby caps and a further 58 in Currie Cup, he will look to deliver another good showing as his team prepares for another Super Rugby campaign.

    “Last year’s Currie Cup did a lot of good for us, giving a lot of youngsters a taste of what’s to come, and if we can carry on the vibe that we had, and take it into the Super Rugby competition, we should be successful,” he told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick.

    The Sharks' pre-season programme is a very busy one and he admits that training is going very well, although now is the toughest part of the year as they look to build their base from which to launch.

    “We’ve had the Boks back since last week and we’ve been doing a lot of work getting them up to speed with what we did over the previous five weeks’ training. We’ve been working extremely hard but everyone has reacted well and we’re doing well.”

    He adds that with a new coaching setup led by Director of Rugby Jake White, there is a new programme to work off which, with the limited time available means they are putting in a huge amount of work in preparation.

    “There is a lot new that has been implemented for this year’s pre-season and only a certain amount of time for us to learn it, so we’ve had more sessions to help us prepare for the Super Rugby campaign. The extra field work helps get all the new ideas imprinted.”

    Next week their programme will change as they implement a more game-specific style of training rather than skills and conditioning, as they prepare for their pre-season match against Saracens in London. A game he is really looking forward to.

    “Saracens are a very good team, top of the Aviva Premiership log at the moment, playing some great rugby in the premiership and Heineken Cup and they’ve been performing for the last few years in fact, playing consistently well, so we’re looking forward to the game immensely.

    “They’re in the middle of their season and with that carry some momentum into this match, whereas it will be out first game. But we’ll pitch up for the game in the right frame of mind and hopefully give them a good run.

    “Although the pressure is not the same as it is in a league game, we’ll come into this match looking to give it our all. For us, it’s important to get our structures right in this game, there is a lot of new stuff we’re doing. We also need to settle into our new way of playing as quickly as possible and see how it works for us.”

    And the whole North vs South appeal?

    “It is difficult to compare, because they are in the middle of their season and for us, this is our first game, so I don’t think it will be a true reflection of the strengths or weaknesses in north versus south,” he points out.

    “But it is still a great opportunity to play against such a good side. We’re looking forward to it and to meeting up with the South Africans in their side as well.”

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