Sharks keen to make the de­pleted Chiefs pay dearly

The Star Late Edition - - SPORT - DARRYN POL­LOCK

t h e r e in the mid­field.” War­rick Ge­lant, Travis Is­maiel, Jesse Kriel, Han­dre Pol­lard (cap­tain), Johnny Kotze, Manie Lib­bok, Ivan van Zyl, Marco van Staden, Them­be­lani Bholi, Roelof Smit, RG Sny­man, Ja­son Jenk­ins, Con­raad van Vu­uren, Adri­aan Strauus, Trevor Nyakane. Re­place­ments: Jaco Vis­agie, Mox Mx­oli, Frans van Wyk, Hen­dre Stassen, Nic de Jager, An­dre Warner, JT Jack­son, Di­van Ros­souw. THE SHARKS may be com­ing off a loss against the Bulls, but it was by no means a 40-10 hum­bling like they felt in their first en­counter against the Pre­to­ria-based out­fit. They now also have a chance to show­case their abil­i­ties as they face their fourth New Zealand side of the sea­son, hav­ing shone in the three other out­ings.

Not only that, the Chiefs, who will face up to the Sharks at 3pm to­mor­row at Kings Park, are well un­der­strength thanks to a con­tin­gent of miss­ing All Blacks, and a rather large spate of in­juries.

But for the Sharks, it is more about in­tro­spec­tion than plan­ning what they will do with what the Chiefs put up against them.

They are out to get a much needed win, in a con­gested log, with only five games left, and that means re­spect­ing the op­po­si­tion at all costs.

“We have spo­ken about the Chiefs and their selec­tion, so we know what­ever team they put out, it will be a good team, it is a New Zealand team and we re­spect them,” coach Robert du Preez ex­plained.

Hav­ing missed out on four points, only pick­ing up the one los­ing bonus point, in Pre­to­ria, the Sharks know that they need to make strides on the log and the best way is to fo­cus on the re­sult first.

“Win­ning comes first, and if there is a bonus point, that will be great, but that is not a con­sid­er­a­tion for us, we won’t change the way we play,” Du Preez added.

It seems for the Sharks that, de­spite the loss, there is a lot to build on from that pretty pos­i­tive per­for­mance against the Bulls.

They man­aged to iden­tify some prob­lem ar­eas, and are work­ing to fix those, rather than get­ting com­plaint against a Chiefs team that is miss­ing up­wards of 20 play­ers.

“I have al­ways said that if the ef­fort is there, and the in­ten­sity, then we can­not fault the play­ers, and that was there against the Bulls,” the coach said.

“We started badly, and then giv­ing away a yel­low card re­ally cost us, but we have spo­ken about the stuff we need to work on, which were our ex­its, that was not good enough.” Also in the Sharks’ favour this week is the fact that they seem to revel in play­ing New Zealand sides, but the coach, as well as the play­ers talk­ing through the week, were not try­ing to make too much of a big deal about this.

“I don’t think it is just be­cause we are play­ing New Zealand teams that the guys are get­ting them­selves up,” Du Preez re­but­ted to a ques­tion about the Sharks up­ping their game in the face of Kiwi op­po­si­tion.

“But there is re­ally a good vibe and they are keen to get out there and rec­tify last week’s per­for­mance.”

The Chiefs’ team an­nounce­ment did in­deed look very dif­fer­ent to the one that was named for the Storm­ers the week be­fore, which the Waikato side won in a low scor­ing af­fair.

All Blacks quar­tet Damian McKen­zie, Brodie Re­tal­lick, An­ton Lienert-Brown and Nathan Harris flew back to New Zealand to at­tend a North Is­land Camp.

How­ever, the side is not lack­ing in skill, ex­pe­ri­ence, or qual­ity.

Vet­eran All Black Liam Mes­sam starts, while Maori All Black Char­lie Ngatai cap­tains from out­side cen­tre hav­ing played full­back last week. Damien McKen­zie’s brother, Marty, takes over his No 10 jersey while the pow­er­ful Sean Whanui will look to stamp his au­thor­ity on the game.

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