The Sharks have a lot riding on Saturday’s match against the Blues in Durban. Not only is it a do-or-die game for the home side but, a win against the Kiwi’s can aid in South Africa’s Super 14 campaign.
From a South African perspective though, a win this weekend would take some pressure off the table-topping Bulls and Stormers. But, that is not how coach John Plumtree plays the game. For him, a Blues victory keeps the Sharks swimming with the big boys.
“They have beaten good teams this year and we have got to make sure defensively we do the right thing this week. They have genuine threats all over the park that can run the ball from any area of the field,” says Plumtree.
Conceding three tries against the Lions last week has forced a defensive shake-up at the tank.
The bruising derby has left Plumtree’s men somewhat tender – but in good nick, which bodes well as the Sharks have an uphill battle over the next four weeks.
Meanwhile, the Blue Bulls will play the remainder of their Super 14 fixtures on home turf at Loftus Versfeld, as originally scheduled. The decision was made today at a meeting held between the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, the Blue Bulls Company, the Free State Rugby Union and South African Rugby.
The Bulls will play three more games at Loftus in 2010. They will face the Lions on April 24, the Sharks on May 1 and the Crusaders on May 7.
[Info from SABCnews with additional reporting by Sapa]