Sharks raise the alarm over winless Pumas
CURRIE CUP SPOTLIGHT: The defending-champion Sharks are determined to not drop any more points against lesser-rated opposition.
The Durban-based outfit got their defence off to the worst possible start – a 13-37 loss to Griquas in Durban earlier this month.
They bounced back against Western Province, the team they beat in the Final last year – beating them 32-27.
However, this week they face their first away game of the season – the tricky trip to Nelspruit and an encounter with the Pumas.
What makes it even more unsettling is that the Pumas have lost all three games they played – giving the hosts the distinct underdog status.
Sharks assistant coach Nick Easter cautioned against reading too much into the Pumas’ results a one-point )37-38) loss to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg the opening round, a 29-37 loss against Griquas in Kimberley and a 17-25 loss to the Blue Bulls in Nelspruit last week.
“The match against Griquas could have gone either way and I thought they were arguably the better team in their game against the Lions,” Easter said in an interview on the Sharks’ website.
“Close losses will only spur them on to greater efforts.
“They are a team that has been there or thereabouts in every game and will know they are close to a first victory in the tournament.
“They will know what they might need to work on tactically and technically or game-plan-wise, and that makes them dangerous.”
Playing in Nelspruit also presents a very different challenge to being on home turf, Kings Park.
“That’s the challenge top-level sportsmen face: staying in the now, in the moment and concentrating on the process, not the outcome.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing,” Easter added.
* Picture credit: Steve Haag