Sharks now eye Lions' scalp

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:41

REACTION: The Sharks have lost three times to the Lions this year, including a Super Rugby quarterfinal defeat. On Saturday they get another shot at the back-to-back Super Rugby runners-up.

Coming off the back of a 28-20 victory over the Blue Bulls at Loftus in Pretoria this past Wednesday, the Sharks will "reset" for another tough up-country challenge.

Sharks coach Robert du Preez said rather than turning it into a big 'grudge match', they will be looking to "build momentum" when they face the Golden Lions in a Currie Cup match at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Sharks have now won three back-to-back Currie Cup matches and are eying the Lions' scalp to keep that momentum going.

The Sharks only defeat this season was a 12-47 loss to the defending-champion Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in Round One in July.

Sharks captain and lock Ruan Botha, speaking after their impressive win at Loftus, said that his team is looking to continue with their fine run of form when they play the Lions.

"We trying hard to build that momentum," Botha said, adding: "We still need to work on a few things, but as the season goes on we will get there and we will play the rugby we want to play."

By the end of 80 minutes on Saturday, the Sharks would have played three games in the space of eight days.

However, Botha said that the Sharks have been focused on the mission at hand of winning all three games and looking at each match in isolation.

"We've mentally prepared ourselves for this, we know it's a big challenge, but we take it one game at a time," explained Botha.

Botha added that with victory over the Bulls at Loftus on Wednesday, the Sharks can now turn their attention to the challenge which awaits them at Ellis Park on Saturday.

"The Bulls are behind us, that's one part of our mission done," he said, adding: "We looking forward to the next mission, just get ourselves ready for the next game."

Sharks coach Robert du Preez echoed his captain's sentiments regarding the belief and ‘momentum' in the team, which the Sharks are looking to continue with against the Golden Lions on Saturday.

"We want to build on the momentum that we've created," the coach said.

"It's reset, it's a new game. It's always tough to go to Ellis Park and they will be up for it, but we looking forward to it."

The last time the Sharks and the Golden Lions played each other in a Currie Cup match was at the end of September 2016 and on that occasion the Sharks were outscored by three tries to one, en route to a 16-28 defeat at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

The Sharks currently sit in second position on the Currie Cup table with 15 points from four matches played, which includes three wins and one loss.

By Josh Isaacson


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