DURBAN - The Sharks will have their feet up this week content in the fact they could hardly be in a better position, both on the Currie Cup log and in what they have put in place on the pitch in winning 10 matches in a row.
The Sharks have bye this week, play Western Province at home next week and then it is a home semi-final and possible home final. But apart from guaranteed home ground advantage, it is the form that the Sharks are in that will give their fans the confidence that their team can go all the way this year.
Coach Robert du Preez has done a fine job in building up quality depth in every position, plus has key players returnin g from injury in Kobus van Wyk and Lukhanyo Am; has a rampant pack and has a match-winner in flyhalf Curwin Bosch.
The Sharks have dominated up front in every game they have played, providing front-foot ball for the gifted Bosch to dictate the game.
Two weeks in a row now, the Sharks have comprehensively beaten tough rivals in the Bulls and Lions in the wettest of conditions thanks to a dominant pack, resolute defence and the precise game management of Bosch.
In the toughest of conditions, Bosch has been exemplary with his kicking out of hand, goal kicking and in each game weighed in with a drop goal.
There is little wrong with the Sharks’ game right now, they have excellent momentum and a streetwise coach that will never allow complacency to sneak into the squad.
After beating the Lions on Friday night, Du Preez said that his players had been getting just rewards for the hard labour they put in on the training field and in the matches.
“We have been improving each game but there is one area that still bugs the coaching staff and that is our conversion rate in the opposition 22,” the coach said.
“We had 14 entries into the Lions 22 and converted only a few of them. I would like us to be more accurate and ruthless. When we have teams on the rack, we must put them away.”
While Bosch was Man of the Match for the second week in a row, Du Preez said that there had been a number of players worthy of the accolade.
“The senior forwards are leading the way,” Du Preez said. “I thought (captain) Ruan Botha played really well, as did (hooker) Franco Marias. The centres, Tristan Blewett and Marius Louw were outstanding.”
The Lions midfield of Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Harold Vorster came to Kings Park with big reputations but they were not the factor they could have been.
They did not get the ball they would have liked and the young Sharks midfield put in a stout defensive effort.
“It was very good defensive effort from the team,” Du Preez said. “Our pressure on defence and attack meant they could never really get going, so that was outstanding.”