Sharks are certainly not scared of Reds’ pack
DURBAN – Thomas “the Tank Engine” du Toit was left dormant in the sidings at Wellington station two weeks ago, but last week in Australia’s mining town of Ballarat, he roared into life.
The Sharks fixed their set scrums in their 36-24 win against the Melbourne Rebels thanks to the return of Du Toit and Ox Nche to the starting front row... but they are now up against a Reds pack that is increasingly good under the guidance of Brad Thorne, the combative former All Black lock.
The Sharks were much better in the set scrums against the Rebels from their matches against the Highlanders and Hurricanes, but the worry is that they have so much more to do against a Reds side that destroyed the Sunwolves last week.
“The Reds were very good at scrum time against the Sunwolves, and we really respect that, but we will never back off from taking them on. We are excited... and certainly not scared,” Du Toit said.
The Sharks in 2020 are gaining increasing popular support because of the adventurous way they play, and Du Toit says that the public perception can only be enhanced by consistently attractive performances..
“We keep saying that how we play is about who we are and about sticking to what works - in short we are a performance-driven team, and I believe the public is seeing what we are trying to do,” Du Toit said.
Last week, the Reds were outstanding against the Sunwolves, but Du Toit is not worried.
“We are capable of dealing with anything, and regarding the Reds, there is nothing that we need to stand back from.
“We look forward to what they have to offer. We know that we have rectified our mistakes and we have identified what we have to cut out.”
Du Toit last week rejoined hooker Kerron van Vuuren and loosehead Nche in what is the Shark’s ideal front row.
Against the Hurricanes in Wellington, neither Du Toit or Nche started due to illness and logistical reasons, but last week against the Rebels, the Sharks were back on track and were impressive against a pack that had been touted as victors over the Sharks.
“It is nice to be restored to our best front row,” Du Toit said.
“Ox is an amazing loosehead, and it is really cool to have our ideal front row back in business and hungry to be beat the best.”