Springbok alignment camps have galvanised the Sharks‚ says coach Du Preez
Sharks coach Robert du Preez says the Springbok alignment camps have galvanised his charges.
The Sharks collected their first bonus point win of the season when they soundly hammered the Highlanders 38-12 at King's Park on Saturday.
It was the Sharks' fourth win of the 2018 campaign and the first time this season they've recorded back-to-back wins.
Before their crucial bye‚ they beat the Stormers and have put themselves back into play-off contention.
"This is a tough competition and we've had eight games in a row‚" he said.
"We also had four on tour so the break was great.
"The boys came back energised and I have to commend them on the work they put in.
"There also was a Springbok camp and I think that's also helped because the guys have really taken ownership.
"The bonus point was a big bonus and we would have been happy for a win but that helps. We just have to keep on working hard and keep on improving.
"It was a one to 23 effort because when the bench came on‚ they also did very well."
Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger acknowledged that they were well beaten by a Sharks side that seems to have the number of New Zealand's teams.
The Sharks have monstered the Blues and Highlanders while a last-gasp try denied them what would have been a deserved win against the Hurricanes in Napier.
Mauger also said their win against the Bulls didn't drain them.
"I thought we prepared really well but as we got into the game‚ it was clear we weren't quite there mentally and if you're not there mentally for such games‚ you're going to get hurt.
"The Sharks have enjoyed playing against New Zealand teams and they were outstanding in this game and their tour to New Zealand‚ but I think we prepared well for this game‚" Mauger said.
"They've caused some stress with their physicality so I'm not sure as to why they didn't perform in the other games. What we saw was a capable side that can compete deep into the season."