The Sharks have ‘wrongs to fix’

Dur­ban side keen to do bet­ter in Cur­rie Cup this sea­son

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MIKE GREENAWAY

THE LIONS in a Su­per Rugby quar­ter-fi­nal one Satur­day, the hum­ble Mpumalanga Pu­mas in the Cur­rie Cup the next.

Such is the life of a pro­fes­sional rugby player and Sharks hooker Franco Marais said the play­ers would not drop their in­ten­sity from El­lis Park to Kings Park for the 5pm kick-off.

The Sharks had an un­for­tu­nate Cur­rie Cup first-round match last week when an al­most Su­per Rugby strength Chee­tahs team ham­mered an un­der-strength Dur­ban side in Bloem­fontein, while there was some­thing sim­i­lar in Nel­spruit, where a full-strength Pu­mas team beat the Lions, also ob­vi­ously un­der strength.

The Pu­mas on Satur­day will be up against a much stronger Sharks side that also now has Su­per Rugby coach Robert du Preez at the helm af­ter Un­der-21 coach Paul Anthony did a care­taker job last week.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Sharks, gone from the Su­per Rugby squad for for­eign shores are scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, lock Eti­enne Oosthuizen and tight­head prop Lourens Adri­aanse.

In the Pu­mas ranks are for­mer Sharks in scrumhalf Ste­fan Un­gerer and flank Fran­cois Klein­hans.

Marais said the play­ers had a break on Mon­day and yes­ter­day trained for the first time in Cur­rie Cup mode.

“We are keen for the Cur­rie Cup and we have a lot to prove, a lot of wrongs to fix. We did not do well last year (the Sharks did not make the semi-fi­nals), so no ex­cuses this year,” the hooker said.

Will the Sharks be able to repli­cate the en­thu­si­asm with which they played the Lions last week in that tu­mul­tuous quar­ter-fi­nal against the Pu­mas in a do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion?

“We will see that on Satur­day. It is all up to the play­ers, it is up to the se­nior guys to set the in­ten­sity,” the SA A hooker said.

“If you can’t get up for a Sharks Cur­rie Cup game, then you should not be there. Hope­fully we can pick up where we left off against the Lions in terms of in­ten­sity.”

The Pu­mas, ob­vi­ously at full strength, beat the Lions in an en­ter­tain­ing game and will give the Sharks a run for their money if they are not tuned in for the fix­ture, Marais added.


MO­TI­VATED: Franco Marais of the Sharks, left, says the Dur­ban side will be ‘up’ for their home Cur­rie Cup en­counter against the Pu­mas at Kings Park on Satur­day.

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