The Sharks will have to man up against Cheetahs
DURBAN – There is no chance of the Sharks going into their shells in Saturday’s Currie Cup semi-final against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, promises coach Sean Everitt.
The sudden death nature of the game will not frighten a Sharks team that has been under the threat of not making the semi-finals for some time now.
“We have had a ‘knockout’ mentality for three weeks in that we had to win three out of three to qualify for the semi-finals, so we have been living with pressure and the guys have reacted positively,” the coach said.
Everitt’s charges have been a pleasure to watch in their victories over the Cheetahs, Golden Lions and Blue Bulls. They have combined a do-or-die attitude with a cavalier approach, which has seen them score some spectacular tries.
“We will prepare as we have for the last month, focussing on performance. It has worked for us in that doing our best to play well, and achieving that, has meant that the results have taken care of themselves,” Everitt said.
Everitt said that since the Sharks beat the Cheetahs at Jonsson Kings Park, he had noticed a change in substitution tactics by Cheetahs coach Franco Smith.
“Their bench strategy has changed... they are putting on their better players late in the game for the final onslaught which has worked well for them (they came back from the dead at the weekend to beat Western Province).
“Otherwise they won’t change anything. Franco is set on his philosophy of keeping and moving the ball, and we have to negate that,” Everitt added.
“I am confident we can stand up to them. Defence was our strength in the first half of the season and if it has slackened a bit it is because of mindset rather than system errors. In short, the guys have to man up!”
Everitt revealed that Curwin Bosch was back in training and if he had to recovered from a back injury, he would be considered for selection.@MikeGreenaway67