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    Sharks to learn from Lions mauling?

    2016-05-04 13:20

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - Saturday night's Hurricanes masterclass, which saw the Lions walloped 50-17 in Johannesburg, was a sobering affair for the South African group.  

    Johan Ackermann's side had been considered by many to be the best of the six South franchises currently fighting it out in Super Rugby. 

    Saturday's result suggests that there is still no certainty in that regard. 

    It also means that South African sides are now 0/4 against New Zealand opposition at home - the Lions have lost to the Hurricanes and Crusaders, the Sharks to the Crusaders and the Kings to the Chiefs in Port Elizabeth. 

    The next team with an opportunity to put that statistic right is the Sharks, who host the Hurricanes in Durban on Saturday (15:00). 

    The Sharks have just returned from a grueling tour of New Zealand, and they are desperate for a win to get their season and playoff aspirations back on track. 

    They will not be reading into the Lions result too much, but veteran loose forward Jean Deysel says they can take a lesson out of that match.

    "If we take anything out of that game it's just not to drop your guard," Deysel said this week.

    "In this competition if you're off by an inch, you miss it completely.

    "You only get so many opportunities and if you don't take them, you get punished. If you're out by an inch, you'll get 50 points. There are no easy games."

    The Hurricanes are in scintillating form - they have won six out of their last seven - and have the luxury of being well settled in South Africa while, rather ironically, the Sharks are in a race against time to acclimatize to conditions following their three-week tour.

    "The Hurricanes are a brilliant side. They're hitting form at the right stage of the competition," said Deysel.

    "We're preparing well and just trying to get over the sleeping patterns a bit but if we get that right we'll have a good game on the weekend."

    The Sharks are currently five points behind the Lions in African Conference 2, with both having played 9 games. 

    The Lions have a bye this week before hosting the Blues.

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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