Sharks out to right the wrongs against Sunwolves
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sharks loose forward Philip van der Walt says he and his teammates are "motivated" to right the wrongs after their 32-35 loss to the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Robert du Preez's side were the favourites heading into the encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last weekend, but they fell short against a spirit Kings side, who were hell bent on proving a point with their future in the balance.
The Sharks will now be targeting a morale-boosting win against the Sunwolves in Singapore before they head back to Durban for their crunch clash against the Stormers ahead of the June international break.
"Our motivation comes from the disappointment of the Kings' match," Van der Walt told sharksrugby.co.za.
"We want to rectify the hurt and damage they inflicted on a very proud and respected union. That's one; the other is that we need to prepare ourselves and our game according to the style and level of play needed in the play-offs. If we're not going to achieve that level now, it's not going to just happen in the latter stages of the competition.
"If we don't achieve what we set out to do, it's just going to get tougher and tougher for us.
"You have to perform every week and this match is no different and what we want to do is get our own play back on track and cut out the errors that are hurting us."
Van der Walt said they won't be hitting the panic button just yet as they are still in a good position in the standings to qualify for the play-offs.
“The last thing we want to do is panic. You don't become a bad team after one game, although we aren't hiding from the fact that it was a bad performance.
"Fortunately, on the log, it doesn't make a big difference, but it does make a difference to how we approach the next game as well as our support.
"We still have our own goals and standards that we set for ourselves – we failed in that regard – it was a bad weekend for us."
The Sharks will also be wanting to make better use of their opportunities against the Sunwolves on Saturday.
"We identified that the way we exited our half of the field wasn’t accurate enough and that put us under pressure," Van der Walt added.
"We also didn't take our opportunities well, we had a couple of drives in their half that didn't lead to tries.
"So there are individual errors we need to cut down on and we also need to exit better after we have just scored points."