Canes will be ready de­spite jet lag, in­sists Everitt

Pretoria News - - SPORT - MIKE GREENAWAY [email protected]

THE Sharks have been ly­ing in wait in Welling­ton for a home team that has been on a fort­night’s over­seas travel, but coach Sean Everitt is not fall­ing into the trap of be­liev­ing the Hur­ri­canes will be fa­tally jet-lagged.

Satur­day’s game is the first home game for the Hur­ri­canes, who have been on a lengthy round trip that took them to Cape Town, Buenos Aires and then back to New Zealand on Mon­day.

The Sharks, con­versely, have been in New Zealand for a fort­night, so jet lag is a dis­tant mem­ory for them.

The Sharks had long ago been tipped to win this one be­cause of the travel fac­tor, and the feel­ing that this game was there for the tak­ing grew when the Hur­ri­canes were thumped by the Storm­ers, only for the Ki­wis to bounce back to snatch a dra­matic win against the Jaguares.

“Their sea­son has been sim­i­lar to ours in a way be­cause they have had two per­for­mances that have been vastly dif­fer­ent from one an­other,” said Everitt from Welling­ton, al­lud­ing to the Sharks’ arm wrestle against the bulls in Dur­ban and their sparkling win over the High­landers. “They are a very good rugby team and we saw glimpses of what they could do in Buenos Aires. Their last try came off an at­tack that was started deep in their own 22. They are a team that likes to play at a high tempo. Not many teams come from be­hind to beat the Jaguares on their home field.

“We are go­ing to have to be alert on the field, and have to keep up with them from a tempo point of view. There is a lot of talk about the Hur­ri­canes hav­ing to travel etc but we are not tak­ing that into con­sid­er­a­tion. We have huge re­spect for them re­gard­less of the travel they have had to do. And any­way, they are gain­ing time by com­ing back home. They will be ready by Satur­day, make no mis­take about that.”

Never mind the state the Hur­ri­canes may or may not be in, the Sharks are in such good form that they re­main well placed to end a four-match los­ing se­quence against the Welling­ton team. In fact, Everitt reck­ons the 42-20 win over the High­landers con­firmed the tem­plate of how he wants the Sharks to play.

“The High­landers game was a per­fect ex­am­ple of how we want to play. We did get caught out de­fen­sively early in the game, but then it is al­ways dif­fi­cult to have line speed and also cover the back field.

“That we kept a clean slate in the first half was a trib­ute to the great courage the guys played with.

“We didn’t ex­pect to be so far ahead at half time, I don’t think any­one does, but if those turnovers present them­selves we will cer­tainly grab them, and we showed that.

“We will also pun­ish poor kicks, so it is not only from turnover ball that we will at­tack. What we saw in Dunedin is what we are work­ing to­ward, only we need to do it a bit bet­ter,” the coach said.

Sean Everitt

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