Nobody knows how frustratingly inconsistent the Sharks have been than the players themselves and it was with an ironic grin that Stephan Lewies suggested the best thing about the shock defeat to the Bulls, is that the Sharks are due to bounce back.
“The trend is that we rebound from a defeat with an 'A game' performance the next week and that is certainly on the cards considering how hard we trained last week with the Lions firmly in our sights,” said Lewies, who will earn his 50th Super Rugby cap on Saturday.
“There is a lot riding on this for us,” he said. “We made so many errors in that defeat to the Bulls and there was little to be positive about. We want to fix that. We simply have to get our game going against the Lions because there are no more chances after this game.
“Then we are into knock-out rugby. It is do-or-die and we can’t go into the quarters playing the way we did against the Bulls,” Lewies said. “We have to end this week’s game with a lot of positives to give us a foundation going into the quarters. We have to move forward this week.”
Lewies has been at the Sharks since he left Pretoria school Eldoraigne and he climbed the Sharks age group ladder before debuting in the Currie Cup in 2013.
Few will recall that Lewies played a Test match for South Africa a year later. Then Bok coach, Heyneke Meyer, had an injury crisis at lock in 2014 and Lewies was called up and played in the hammering of Scotland in Port Elizabeth.
Now he has seen one of his mates in Franco Mostert making his debut for the Boks and Lewies says he is looking forward to squaring up to the Lions lock on Saturday.
“Franco has been playing fantastic rugby consistently for the last couple of seasons and he has been given his just reward,” Lewies said.
“He took his chance (in the series against France) and as a starting lock for the Boks, he is a player that I must measure myself against on Saturday.
“There are a number of in-form Boks in their pack and we simply have to be up for the challenge.
"It is a huge game, it is one of those games you look forward to for some time. We play rugby for these big games.
"We will be ready come Saturday.”