Everitt buoyed by Sharks’ set piece ahead of Reds showdown
DURBAN – The Sharks are taking serious cognisance of the Reds’ tight five ability ahead of their tour closer in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Sharks are two-from-three on tour and have a good chance of beating the Reds, even if the locals have just put 65 points past the Sunwolves.
The Reds are coached by Brad Thorn, who won a gold medal with the All Blacks as a lock in their 2011 World Cup final win over France, but Sharks coach Sean Everitt says his team do not fear the Reds.
“We know how good the Reds have been up front this season but we are also very pleased with the improvement in our set piece,” Everitt said from the Sharks’ base on the Gold Coast of Queensland.
“Up front, I thought we showed a world of difference from the loss to the Hurricanes to the win over the Rebels,” he said. “As a consequence, our penalty count came right down, plus we turned them over and scored a lot of tries On the whole the team displayed a lot of energy and the excitement they showed on the field is rubbing off amongst the players.”
Everitt felt that tighthead Thomas du Toit made a big difference in Ballarat after having missed the previous game against the Hurricanes because of illness.
“Thomas coming back against the Rebels was huge,” Everitt said. “Both he and Ox Nche are Boks and that makes a difference when they play. But the guys who came on, such as Johnny Hubert-Meyer, Craig Burden and Mzamo Majola made a difference this week
“Our scrum forced a penalty on the halfway line with the reserves on so overall, as an all-round scrumming unit, we have improved.”
Everitt said that if he had to single out a forward from the 36-24 win over the Rebels, it would be No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
“He has been outstanding,” Everitt said of the former Stormers player. “It is so useful to have a player who links so well between backs and forwards off the back - he has so much skill.
“He’s not a big physical player but he does use his feet well and carries skilfully without having to be a forceful player,” Everitt said.
“Notshe has an excellent offloading game, we saw that in our first tour game against the Highlanders when he put Madosh Tambwe through He contributes well to the team and is a leader in his own right and a very good signing for the Sharks.”