Sharks focussed on the REAL competition
INTERVIEW: The Sharks, like the other six teams in the 2020-21 version, are shifting their focus to South Africa’s most prized domestic championship.
Despite the ‘disappointment’ of playing in empty stadiums, prop Retshegofaditswe Nché said being crowned South Africa’s champion team is a thought that will be in the back of players’ minds.
“It is hard without the fans,” Nché said, comparing the feeling of disappointment to when the Cheetahs had to move from Super Rugby to Pro14.
He admitted that with the competition now switching from Super Rugby Unlocked to the Currie Cup, the race for places in the play-offs intensifies.
“We are looking forward to getting stuck in, in the Currie Cup [competition],” the prop said.
Following the cancellation of last week’s Unlocked showdown with the Stormers, as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Sharks camp, they are “desperate” to get back on the park.
“We have missed out on a lot of rugby this year,” he said of the year heavily impacted by COVID-19-enforced lockdowns.
“We are excited about just getting an opportunity to play.”
The disruptions also had an influence of the Sharks’ set pieces.
“We have been growing gradually as a pack.
“However, we’ve had a few challenges – like injuries and the COVID-19-enforced absenteeism – that messed up our rhythm.”
He said the return of Springbok Thomas du Toit back will be a boost for the squad.
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— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) November 22, 2020
“He is a World Cup winner,” Nché said of the bulky Springbok, who has been missing for a month because of a calf injury.”
“He has a calming influence on the team.”
He said the Pumas always challenge you physically and bring the fight to you.
The Sharks will have to ‘fight fire with fire’.