Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez converts a try during their match against the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Photo: Tracy Nearmy/EPA
This might sound a bit Irish, with respect to the Six Nations champions, but Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez reckons that the worse he kicks in a pre-game warm-up, the better his chances are of a good kicking display in the match itself.

“It does not discourage me if I am not nailing the kicks in the warm-up. In fact, I see it as good sign that I will get it right in the game,” the flyhalf said.

“I work on the theory of averages and if I am not getting it right before kick-off and I realise that I need to make a few adjustments, I feel that things will balance out in the game.”

Du Preez says that is exactly what happened in their Super Rugby encounter against the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland last week when he was successful with all 13 of his shots at goal.

“I was not kicking well at all in the warm-up at Eden Park, so before kick-off I gathered my thoughts and thought carefully about keeping things simple and on focussing on the basics of relaxing, keeping calm and then stroking the ball as smoothly as possible,” the flyhalf explained.

“After I kicked the first penalty, I just had this feeling that I was not going to miss.

Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez improved his kicking while on their Super Rugby tour. Photo: Tracy Nearmy/EPA

"It is a wonderful feeling for a kicker when you know that you are kicking the ball so sweetly that you look forward to the next shot at goal, because you know you are going to nail it.

“It also helped my confidence that the pack was giving me go-forward goal, and that meant I could manage the game, which is my primary job,” he said.

“I felt good about my game from the first whistle and that confidence obviously contributed to my goal-kicking.”

Du Preez kicked 13 out of 13, and with a try thrown in, his personal contribution was 38 points in a match the Durban side won comfortably 63-40.

“I have never come close to that at any level, so to score 38 points at the home of New Zealand rugby will be forever special to me,” Du Preez concluded.

The Sharks were due to face the Hurricanes this morning (9.35 SA time).

The Mercury

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