Sharks coach Everitt not taking path to the semis for granted

23 August 2019 - 12:16 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
The Cell C Sharks Currie Cup coach Sean Everitt with the squad during a training session.
The Cell C Sharks Currie Cup coach Sean Everitt with the squad during a training session.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

The Sharks may have the points dice loaded in their favour ahead of their crucial Currie Cup clash against the Blue Bulls on Saturday‚ but it’s something their coach Sean Everitt isn’t taking for granted.

Regardless of what happens in the earlier games‚ all the Sharks need to do at Loftus Versfeld is to win their game and they’ll proceed to the semifinals.

As for the Blue Bulls‚ they’ll need all other results to go their way‚ plus collect a clear 25-point‚ bonus point win off the Sharks.

As things stand‚ the Sharks are fourth with 14 points from five matches while the Blue Bulls have nine from the same number of games.

“The Bulls are a physical side and we know that from the past. They’ve got all to play for‚” Everitt said.

“They’re a proud union so they’ll come out firing for this game. We’ve got to stick to our structures‚ we’ve got to show composure.

Blue Bulls coach Pote Human's team have it all to do against the Sharks.
Blue Bulls coach Pote Human's team have it all to do against the Sharks.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

“If we can look after them in the first 20 minutes‚ that’ll do us well‚ so we’re not taking this week any different from what we normally do. We’re focussed on our goals and what we want to achieve this season.”

The sides have loaded up on the Springboks who didn’t make the cut for the Bloemfontein camp.

The Bulls have Marco van Staden and Lizo Gqoboka back while the Sharks called on the services of Andre Esterhuizen and Thomas du Toit.

To complete a menacing front row‚ the Sharks also have Coenie Oosthuizen at tighthead.

Everitt said national team players have to slot straight back into domestic teams‚ especially with this year being a Rugby World Cup year.

“I’m a firm believer that you’ve played for the national team and you come back to your franchise‚ you deserve to start. You don’t come back a worse player‚” Everitt said.

“I think they need to be rewarded and at the same time‚ they’re still in the mix for the World Cup if there are injuries. They need to have game time to stay at the top.”

Lizo Gqoboka has been released by the Springboks after the Argentina match and is back to bolster the Blue Bulls in their do or die Currie Cup match against the Sharks.
Lizo Gqoboka has been released by the Springboks after the Argentina match and is back to bolster the Blue Bulls in their do or die Currie Cup match against the Sharks.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The Sharks still need to do the business on the field and with their defensive strength this season‚ Everitt is backing his side to outlast the Blue Bulls.

“We know what’s coming‚ so from a defence point of view‚ we really need to be solid in that department.

"I thought we did well against the Lions and we did well against the Cheetahs. Defence has been our strength in this campaign‚ so we need to keep on doing that‚” Everitt said.

“If we do defend well‚ there will be opportunities with ball in hand. We’ll just need to be accurate.”

Teams

Blue Bulls:

15 Divan Rossouw‚ 14 Cornal Hendricks‚ 13 Johnny Kotze‚ 12 Dylan Sage‚ 11 Rosko Specman‚ 10 Manie Libbok‚ 9 Ivan van Zyl (captain)‚ 8 Tim Agaba‚ 7 Wian Vosloo‚ 6 Marco van Staden‚ 5 Ruan Nortje‚ 4 Andries Ferreira‚ 3 Wiehahn Herbst‚ 2 Johan Grobbelaar‚ 1 Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements:

16 Corne Els‚ 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen‚ 18 Conraad van Vuuren‚ 19 Jean Droste‚ 20 Ruan Steenkamp‚ 21 Embrose Papier‚ 22 Vaughen Isaacs‚ 23 Stedman Gans.

Sharks:

15 Aphelele Fassi‚ 14 Kobus van Wyk‚ 13 Jeremy Ward (co-captain)‚ 12 Andre Esterhuizen‚ 11 Lwazi Mvovo‚ 10 Boeta Chamberlain‚ 9 Sanele Nohamba‚ 8 Tera Mtembu (co-captain)‚ 7 Jacques Vermeulen‚ 6 Phepsi Buthelezi‚ 5 Hyron Andrews‚ 4 Ruben van Heerden‚ 3 Coenie Oosthuizen‚ 2 Kerron van Vuuren‚ 1 Thomas du Toit.

Replacements:

16 Dylan Richardson‚ 17 Mzamo Majola‚ 18 John-Hubert Meyer‚ 19 Gideon Koegelenberg‚ 20 Andisa Ntsila‚ 21 Cameron Wright‚ 22 Rhyno Smith‚ 23 JP Pietersen.

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Assistant referees: Paul Mente‚ Phumzile Mbewu

TMO: Johan Greeff


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