Sharks coach Robert Du Preez desperate not to make the usual mistakes
Having fallen short in last year’s Currie Cup final against the same opposition on home soil‚ Sharks coach Robert du Preez is desperate not to make the same mistakes.
After his team’s 33-24 semi-final win over the Golden Lions in Durban‚ Du Preez pointed to discipline as the key factor separating teams in a final.
“In any final‚ and I know it sounds like a cliché‚ but the team that takes their chances and uses their opportunities and stays disciplined on the day (will win)‚" he said.
“I recall the World Cup final against France (in 2011)‚ the All Blacks only conceded three penalties.
"That is the type of discipline you need to look at.”
The Sharks were resoundingly beaten in Cape Town in their league fixture against Western Province but he believes their semifinal against the Golden Lions has steeled them for the competition’s climax.
“Definitely. This was a tough game the boys are going to be sore‚” said Du Preez.
The Durban side vacated the blocks with some intent against the Golden Lions before hitting a wobble in the second half as the visitors staged a spirited rear guard action.
The Golden Lions improved their prospects from a grim 23-3‚ shortly after the restart to resolve deepening 26-24 with around 10 minutes to go.
“They are a dangerous side we know that‚” reminded Du Preez.
“If you make one or two slip ups that’s what you’ll get. We’ll have to go and see how that happened and sort it out before next week.
“Semi-finals are tough because anything can happen on the day. The (Golden) Lions is such a quality side. They had us worried there.
"I was pleased with the guys’ effort to come back after those two tries and to fight it out right to the end. That was good.” His team was solid in the first half however.
They hardly gave the visitors a sniff as they bossed the set pieces and the gain-line.
“When this team is patient and put phases together they are devastating‚" he said.
"We just get ahead of ourselves now and then. I’ve got to commend them on that first half. They were clinical and outstanding. I’m very pleased.”
Du Preez will have some selection posers ahead of next week’s final.
He will more than likely introduce one of his sons in the Sharks' team Jean-Luc du Preez back to starting line-up after listing among the substitutes against the Golden Lions.
“The reason we didn’t start with Jean-Luc is because he just came back from injury‚" he said.
"He is getting better. (He’s now had) more game time. We’ll worry about that selection headache on Monday.”
Asked about his other son‚ Dan‚ Du Preez said:“Dan was good. I thought it was outstanding. Our centres (Marius Louw and Jeremy Ward) played unbelievably well.”
Left wing Lwazi Mvovo‚ who left the field on a stretcher‚ is apparently okay but a proper assessment on his head injury will be made on Monday.