Sharks out to 'neutralise' Esterhuizen in Durban
SPOTLIGHT: The Sharks are well aware of the threat Andre Esterhuizen will pose when they come up against the Harlequins.
The English side are in Durban for the first round of this season’s European Championship Cup and they will be eager to take advantage of the Sharks’ troublesome form.
One player who is central to Harlequins’ game plan is Esterhuizen.
The Springbok centre has been one of the Premiership’s best players over the last few seasons and to make things a bit more interesting he is also a former Sharks player as well.
With his big frame, the 28-year-old does make some serious yardage when he gets the ball in his hands and that is something the Sharks will have to combat.
“They [Harlequins] score most of their tries off the first three phases and they have a successful strike rate from set-pieces,” said Sharks prop Retshegofaditswe Nche.
“We have to put their set-piece under pressure.
“We know Andre is a big ball carrier for them. He gets them over the gain line, so we just need to neutralise that.
“We know the challenge that is coming and I think we have to front up to that and just disrupt that to favour us.”
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— The Sharks (@SharksRugby) December 6, 2022
The scrum battle
Looking closer to Nche’s department, there is another Springbok in the form of Wilco Louw who will be out to put some pressure on the Sharks at scrum time.
Nche is no stranger to Louw’s scrumming power.
“I scrummed against him at the Boks, at junior levels and I also scrummed against him when he was still at the Stormers, so I kind of have an idea,” said Nche.
“I know he is a pretty big boy and he is heavy and I have seen his growth [in England].
“He scrums pretty well, so I think it is going to be a good challenge for me but I am looking forward to it.”