Sharks' 'blessing in disguise' ahead of Newlands semifinal
CURRIE CUP SPOTLIGHT: Sharks captain Lukhanyo Am believes the long break between his team’s last match and their upcoming semifinal is more of a positive than a negative.
It will be three weeks between the Sharks’ match against Griquas on January 2 and their semifinal against Western Province on Saturday, which could mean teams might be rusty this weekend.
Following a number of positive COVID-19 tests in their squad, the Sharks’ final round-robin match against Province on January 9 was cancelled.
Subsequently, the play-offs were postponed by a week to “allow the participants to manage COVID-19 challenges”.
“COVID was kind of a blessing in disguise for us,” Am told reporters on Tuesday ahead of his team’s trip to Newlands.
“I think it gave us a long time to prepare for the semifinals. I think we managed to sharpen up on the issues that we thought we needed to improve on.
“Semifinals are like any other play-off game where you just try and score as many points as we can. It’s definitely going to be tough playing against Western Province at Newlands, but we know what to expect from them and we will try and counter that.”
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Am said he not worried about any momentum being lost during the extended break.
“We have been together for a very long time – it’s not something we think will bite us,” Am added.
“It’s something that happens all the time in a season where you get a bye after a three or four-week run. For us going into the play-offs with the group we have, I think it came at the perfect time.”