Sharks have 'more clarity' after Newlands 'wake-up call'
CURRIE CUP SPOTLIGHT: Sharks assistant coach Nick Easter said quite a few lessons were learned after his team’s last meeting with Western Province.
The Sharks went down 28-50 to Province at Newlands in Round Seven. It was a match that head coach Robert du Preez described as a ‘wake-up call’ at the time.
Province ran in seven tries during that match and Easter knows that in the Currie Cup Final they cannot afford to play in WP’s hands as they did in September.
“We know what a quality side they are and how lethal they are,” Easter said.
“We got to be well-prepared and we got to focus for 80 minutes. It was a big wake-up call from where we were. We were stuttering through a few performances and we are probably a bit more consistent now because we know exactly what it will take to become champions.”
Easter added: “There is more clarity in what we want to achieve. Our turnover rate and our errors were too much in the previous games.
“Those guys [WP] punished us and they exploited certain flaws in our systems as well and they always say you learn more when you lose.”
The Sharks were made to work hard for their 33-24 victory against the Golden Lions in the semis and Easter believes that was the test they needed before the Final.
“If you have everything your own way all the time and then when it doesn’t quite go for you, that’s when you can come unstuck. I think we’ve had a good balance in this Currie Cup and we need to put it together because Western Province is a very good side.
“They scored a lot of points, even in the game at the weekend [against the Blue Bulls]. They managed to put 30 points on the Bulls before extra time and score four tries in the wet the previous week, so we know they can score points, which will mean we will have to execute and take our chances.
“We are also going to have to keep them out for long periods of the game as well, which is going to be a big ask. But we will look after the guys and make sure that they got enough in the tank,” said Easter.
By Warren Fortune