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VIDEO: 'We have a score to settle'

Phepsi Buthelezi is unyielding in his belief that the Sharks will not be distracted by the looming Challenge Cup face-off with Clermont Auvergne when the Durban side tackles Scarlets in a United Rugby Championship outing on Friday.

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With the big Twickenham Stoop date (Saturday, May 4) just over a week away, it would be easy to forgive the Sharks if their focus is not on Friday’s Parc y Scarlets encounter.

After all, the Durban-based franchise is no longer in the running for a URC top-eight spot, so their only route back into Europe’s premier league is winning the Challenge Cup.

However, Buthelezi is adamant that their most recent encounter – a 20-32 loss at the same Llanelli venue is what is driving them this week.

“We are 100 percent focused on this game against Scarlets,” he told @rugby365com.

There is a familiarity with the stadium and the surroundings, giving the Sharks a more relaxed build-up to the game.

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Scarlets, like the Sharks, are well outside the top 10 on the standings – sitting in 15th place with 16 points and three wins, just two points behind the 13th-placed Sharks (three wins).

Buthelezi described Scarlets as “a bit of a mixed bag” team.

The Welsh region’s pack of forwards – with Tonga locks Vaea Fifita and Sam Lousi – makes them a big threat.

(WATCH as Sharks loose forward Phendulani Buthelezi explains how they manage to focus on the URC with a #BIG Europe date looming….)

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“Those guys have been around for a long time,” the Sharks loose forward said.

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“They have also been unlucky with some of their results and will be looking to get another one over us.”

He added that it is a “nice challenge” for the Sharks, with last year’s result a big motivating factor.

“We have a score to settle down here.”

That is their focus now and they will switch to the Clermont challenge ‘next week’.

“Performing against Scarlets will give us momentum going into [Europe] next week.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

 

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