Reinach: Sharks can beat anyone
Durban - Although the Sharks lifted their intensity measurably against the Lions last weekend, scrumhalf Cobus Reinach believes there is still room for improvement.
Losing to the Cheetahs in the first round was a timely reminder that there are no easy games in this competition.
“We know that everyone is at the same level in Super Rugby, I just think we let ourselves down and that is a great wake-up call,” Reinach told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick. “If we bring what we have to the party, we can beat anyone. I think we can take it much further, this is just the beginning. We took it up quite a few steps from the first week and we hope to do that every week from now.
“We are a performance based team, so we will have to keep lifting our game.”
Reflecting on the 29-12 victory over the Lions, Reinach feels it was a very good result in the context of the weather conditions.
“It was a good win and we came away with a bonus point, which, in the wet is always difficult. So we're lucky enough to get away with the five-pointer in tough conditions against a good side.”
He admits that the conditions made it difficult for the Sharks to get their game going, especially as they had trained in sweltering heat all week, only to face near flooding before the game. “In the wet it's really quite hard to express yourself in the backline. I think we did quite well kicking wise because if it's wet you have to control the game territorially and I think we did it quite well. I think we out-kicked them.”
And although they succeeded on Saturday, playing an alternative style from that which they have been training for, he would be content not to have to play in the wet again.
“We hope for dry weather then we can play a bit more rugby. But if it gets to a kicking game, I think we're preparing quite well. But it is the Bulls and they have a massive kicking game; I think they invented the kicking game.”
His growth over past year has been exponential, given his recent Springbok credentials and he hopes to continue to grow. Especially as he and team-mate Pat Lambie form both the Sharks and an exciting Springbok half-back pairing (as evidenced on the end-of-year Bok tour last year).
“The more experience you get, the more comfortable you get. So confidence wise I'm good. Having Pat next to me as well, he's a calm cool guy, so it always helps.”
Their Super Rugby opponents on Saturday have yet to win and are on the back foot, especially as those losses have both been at home. They won’t want to drop a third game and for that reason won’t be taken lightly. “Oh, they'll want to win alright,” he says. “You have to win your home games and losing two is not fun, it’s not what you wish for. I know they're going to come out firing on all cylinders this weekend to try and get the points.
“I’m sure they must be hurting and yes they're going to throw everything at us.”
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash at Loftus Versfeld is scheduled for 17:05.