Sharks brace for Stormers team with 'brawn and brains'
RAINBOW CUP SPOTLIGHT: Sharks prop Thomas du Toit believes the Stormers have added more strings to their bow ahead of their encounter at the Cape Town Stadium.
The Stormers are known to rely heavily on their pack and set-pieces in matches, but Du Toit has noticed that his opponents have used the ball a lot more out wide during the Preparation Series.
It is for this reason that the Sharks are busying preparing for a dual challenge in Cape Town.
“We are anticipating both sides,” said Du Toit.
“They will never shy away from the physical battle – with mauls, scrums and set-pieces. We are prepared for that.
“But, obviously, there is a different aspect to their game that they have introduced now and you can see they are playing more. It is something we have prepped for, so we are ready for both challenges.”
Du Toit believes the Stormers are in a good place at the moment after a number of key players signed contract extensions in Cape Town.
“The Stormers will always stay a quality side. With the plans they put in place, with the people that they got there, I think they are in a better place than where they might have been previously.
“They are a fantastic side. They got a good pack, they’ve got good game plans and I think that has been coming through in previous games that they’ve played.
“It’s definitely still going to be a proper challenge,” Du Toit added.
Rainbow Cup chaos
The Sharks were due to face the Stormers last weekend, but the scrapping of the original Rainbow Cup tournament format meant that local fixtures were pushed back a week.
Pro14 Rugby and SA Rugby are now operating dual Rainbow Cup tournaments with no cross-hemisphere fixtures in the absence of formal approvals in place to allow the South African teams to enter the UK & Ireland.
For Du Toit the extra week off was a blessing in disguise.
“It wasn’t the biggest of disruptions. I think we took time away and I think it did us good.
“We got some more training in and we got some more detail in and more time to polish stuff, so it was not the worst thing in the world,” said the Springbok prop.