Sharks embracing tough start

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:01

REACTION: The Reds have struggled in the last few seasons of Super Rugby, but they will be no pushovers this time around says Sharks head coach Robert du Preez.

The Sharks depart for Australia on Saturday and they will start their Super Rugby campaign against the Reds next Friday in Brisbane.

The Queenslanders have strengthened their squad significantly ahead of this year's tournament and many feel they will be a tough team to beat in 2017.

Wallabies Scott Higginbotham, Quade Cooper, Stephen Moore and Leroy Houston have all returned to Brisbane. They have also secured the services of veteran loose forward George Smith as well.

"They [Reds] have assembled a really good squad," said Du Preez.

"Stephen Moore, the Australian captain, is with them. They also got George Smith and [Scott] Higginbotham and some really good backs. They will certainly be a different proposition this time around."

A two-match tour to Australia is a tough start for the Durban-based franchise, but Du Preez is optimistic that his team can pick up some valuable points on the road.

After their match against the Reds next week the Sharks will travel to Canberra to face the Brumbies before returning to Durban to take on the Waratahs.  

"We would like to win both [Reds and Brumbies] games," Du Preez added.

"We definitely want to improve on the previous two [pre-season] games that we had. We will concentrate on our processes and getting two wins out of the tour will be fantastic."

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 52 | 24
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28