DURBAN – Super Rugby has not seen much of a fight from the Australian sides in recent memory, and especially not from one of the newer teams to the competition, the Melbourne Rebels.
However, this year they are showing their true potential, and will be a real threat to the Sharks when they visit the Shark Tank on Saturday.
The men from Melbourne were undefeated up until last week, where they suffered an ego-bruising comeback from the Lions at Ellis Park.
Had it not been for a sloppy second-half display, and the Lions waking up, the Rebels would have put a real marker down heading into this match.
“The Rebels were on fire in the first half against the Lions. You are making a big mistake if you underestimate them,” Sharks prop Coenie Oosthuizen said.
“This week they are not going to be the Rebels side that lost the second half the way they did, and we are mentally prepared for that.”
The Sharks are back in action after a bye week, which followed two rather poor losses against local opponents.
The men from Durban were bullied by the Stormers and the Bulls.
“Losses like that, especially the one we suffered against the Bulls, are never far from your thoughts,” the prop added.
“We take it personally, and we welcome this week’s opportunity to prove ourselves. That is the beauty of Super Rugby: you get opportunities to redeem yourselves.”
However, Oosthuizen admits that the bye week has been good to the team, as they have had a chance to digest and get over the losses.
“We looked internally and each one of us has agreed to work 10 percent harder. And credit to the guys, you can see they are putting in the hard work,” Oosthuizen said.@DarrynJack216