Gary Teichmann wants the Sharks to show there worth after a poor start to their tour. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
DURBAN  The Sharks arrived in Auckland on Saturday ahead of their Super Rugby match against the Blues this coming Saturday and the message to the players from their CEO Gary Teichmann is to throw the kitchen sink at the New Zealand side.

The Sharks lost 46-14 to the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday after having opened their tour the week before with a 24-17 defeat to the Brumbies in Canberra.

Now the road gets even tougher with the Blues and then the Hurricanes in wait.

Teichmann said he and the coaching staff were bitterly disappointed at the Sharks’ fruitless fortnight in Australia after having travelled with high hopes.

“The players seem to be too focused on results and have a fear of failure instead of focusing on the way they want to play,” Teichmann said.

“I see apprehension in the ranks and the guys have got to ditch that mentality and have a full crack at the Blues.

“Having spoken to the coaching staff, they feel the team is very close to clicking. They played much better against the Rebels, despite what the scoreboard suggests, but still made defensive mistakes that allowed the opposition easy tries,” Teichmann said.

“The message from me - and the coaching staff fully agree - is to go into the game with the mindset that they are going to hammer the Blues. No pussy-footing around waiting to see what the opposition are going to do,” the CEO said.

“Give it a full crack. Have a go, throw everything at it but without being reckless. You can’t give clumsy opportunities to the Blues but at the same time you have to attack them.”

Teichmann said that the coaching staff had felt that the team was well poised to beat the Rebels after having had a good week of training: “Jacques Nienaber, the Springbok defensive coach, was over there with them and the players reacted well to the sessions with him.

“My big concern is that the team is not playing with confidence. They make line-breaks but don’t have the patience to build the multiple phases that lead to tries,” Teichman said.

“But I believe in the quality of this squad and from experience know that there is a fine line between nervous attacking and free-flowing attacking. It just needs a good period of play where you score some good tries to flick the mental switch.

“I don’t think the team is far off that. But for it to happen they have to take the game to the opposition; they can’t hang about waiting for things to happen. Because if that is the mindset, they won’t.

“And the players and coaching staff know full well that how they are playing is not good enough and while we have no choice but to take it on the chin, what is going on is not good enough,” Teichmann said. “And the players have been given that message loud and clear.”

Sunday Tribune 

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