Sharks will give Lions 'run for their money' - Du Preez

14 July 2017 - 08:19 By TimesLIVE
Robert du Preez (Head Coach) of the Sharks.
Robert du Preez (Head Coach) of the Sharks.

The Sharks were the one South African Super Rugby side to give the Lions a run for their money in the round-robin stage and coach Robert du Preez is hoping they can take it a step further tomorrow.

"It will be one of our toughest games because there's a lot to play for. We need to get our campaign back on track and put in a good performance before the quarterfinal," Du Preez said.

"The Lions also have a lot to play for so we know it's going to be exciting.

"We felt very unlucky not to have won that game against the Lions and we did play well. I hope we're going to have a repeat performance and also win the game this time. We have to be accurate with our set-pieces and put their key players under pressure."

His Lions counterpart Johan Ackermann has the joy of easing his first choice inside centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg off the bench.

"We've done the job in terms of getting the home quarterfinal. That's the tough part, but you still want to have good momentum going into the playoffs," Ackermann said.

"Our focus is on this week and we're not going to look beyond that. We have to respect the Sharks and it's nice to have a pressure game before the playoffs.

"It's more important for us in terms of how we perform in the 80 minutes instead of worrying about what could happen in the future.

"We can't change our mindset in a few hours and the mindset is to perform on Saturday. The Sharks have a quality side and they have everybody back on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has brought back all his available big guns for the clash against the Bulls at Loftus.

In isolation the match is only about local bragging rights as the Stormers have already qualified for next week's quarterfinals while the Bulls are out of playoff contention.

But Fleck wants his side to build some momentum going into the post-season at Newlands next week where they will meet either the Chiefs or the Hurricanes.

"Tactically and technically we have to smarten up and we are going to put ourselves under pressure to perform. We have qualified but this game is still important to us so we can build towards the quarters."

Captain Siya Kolisi warned that his side needed to think about the big picture.

"Our goal is to win Super Rugby and we can't play like we did against the Sunwolves last week," Kolisi said.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais said he believed there was potential for the future.

"There are a lot of youngsters who are coming through and those are the positives."