The Currie Cup table-topping Sharks will have their unbeaten status sorely tested on Saturday when they visit a Blue Bulls team that will be seriously grumpy after having lost to the Cheetahs at the weekend.
The Sharks, courtesy of their resounding 30-14 win over the Lions, are the only team not to have lost a game after two rounds of the new six-team |format.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” admitted assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards.
“The Blue Bulls away is always a tremendous clash, one of those where we don’t have to motivate the guys too much because they’ll automatically be up for it.
“It will be an interesting one, they will be desperate to win because they’re playing at home, while we want to keep our roll going, we need to win it. And if we improve on the Lions game, then we can win it.
“We know we have the game plan to beat them at Loftus, we just need to challenge the players to cut out a lot of mistakes.”
Reece-Edwards said the Sharks were disappointed not to have earned the bonus point out of the game after having scored three second-half tries.
“It’s something we really wanted, but the way the game turned out the scrums were taking a lot of time to set, so that ate up time and we had to make some changes – there were a lot of injury disruptions.
“We were struggling to get momentum. So we will have to work hard towards achieving five-pointers, and to get better starts in games so that we get into positions where we don’t have to chase the fourth try.”
The former Springbok fullback said the coaching staff were generally pleased with the performance.
“We played some good rugby. We were quite happy with what was happening during the last 20 minutes of the first half after a tough opening quarter, but our ball retention wasn’t good and we made too many loose mistakes.
“But we knew that we could get the result, and we’re really happy. I thought our decision-making was really good, just the accuracy and finishing off of those decisions was a bit lacking.”
One area where the Sharks did battle was the set scrums.
“The Lions have a very settled scrum, obviously, and our guys have been thrown together at short notice. They were up against a big pack, with a big weight advantage and the Lions took their opportunities against us at scrum time [including earning a penalty try].
“We saw that the previous week as well when they beat the Cheetahs. They came with the exact same attitude. So they came into this game riding high, while our scrum is still trying to find its feet.”