’We are playing a team with their tails up’, warns Sharks coach ahead of Rainbow Cup SA clash with the Lions
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DURBAN - The Sharks resume their Rainbow Cup SA campaign on Saturday night and they will have to play out of their socks if they are to end their losing streak by beating the Lions away.
The Sharks won their first two Rainbow Cup matches, lost their next two, and now must win their two remaining games if they hope to finish top of the table and win through to the final against the winners of the European section of the Rainbow Cup.
Three weeks ago, the Sharks lost heavily to the Bulls and then lost narrowly to the Stormers in Durban in their last outing, and the going won’t get any easier at Ellis Park considering the home team recently shocked the Bulls on the same ground.
“Before the Bulls played the Lions, Jake White warned that the Lions are on the up, and he was right,” Sharks coach Sean Everitt said yesterday.
“We are playing a team with their tails up, so we know what to expect from them when we go up there, so we have to be at our best because a win is vital for us.”
Everitt spent last week working with a squad depleted of 12 top players who were called up to the Springbok training camp, so preparation for the visit to the Lions starts in earnest today.
“With so many guys away, it was a good opportunity to work with the balance of (the) squad, because if those 12 are all picked, the guys that were left will in any case become our Currie Cup squad,” Everitt said.
“The camp was from Monday to Wednesday, but we gave those guys Thursday and Friday off because they won’t have any other opportunity to take a break.”
The season is indeed growing congested because the final round of the Rainbow Cup SA is on June 12 (Stormers at home to the Lions and the Sharks host the Bulls); the next week is the Rainbow Cup North v South final and the Currie Cup starts straight after that, with the Springboks also going into camp that week.
“It was probably a good thing that we didn’t have a game last week,” Everitt said.
“We had played four games in a row, so it was a welcome chance for the guys to freshen up.
“It was not ideal in terms of us wanting to get back on the winning trail as soon as possible, but it all worked out with the break being aligned with the Bok training camp.”