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Ken Borland

Ox confident Sharks can deliver again after encouraging set-piece display

Posted on February 22, 2022 by Ken

Following an encouraging set-piece display in the win against the Lions at Ellis Park last weekend, Sharks prop Ox Nche is confident his team will be able to deliver the goods again when they host the Stormers in their United Rugby Championship match in Durban on Saturday.

The Sharks do seem to have settled down in terms of their scrummaging and much of the credit for that must go to their scrum coach, Akvsenti Giorgadze, the former Georgia hooker who joined the franchise at the start of the URC season. The home side will need to be at their best in the set-piece to counter a strong Stormers scrum led by powerhouse Springbok loosehead Steven Kitshoff.

“The Lions average four or five penalties a game won and at 2-2 last weekend at Ellis Park, it was fairly even,” Nche said on Tuesday. “We were pretty happy, being our first match back.

“We can only get better and there’s not much difference between the guys coming off the bench and the front row that starts, we have all worked hard and put in the same effort.

“We have a good system in place with Akvsenti, he keeps it fairly simple. It’s an all-eight effort and he is very good with the little things like our shape and technique. He brings confidence.

“And he insists on attitude as well, he expects forwards to be forwards! He tries to bring the best out of every player and he’s doing that, we have a good relationship,” Nche said.

The Sharks scored six tries in beating the Lions 47-37 and some of them were dazzling efforts showcasing the brilliant skills of their Springbok-laden backline. Nche, wearing the No.1 jersey and playing an important role in winning the time and space for the backs to flourish, knows the whole team will have to take another step up against the Stormers, who lead the way in the South African franchise, two points ahead of the Sharks.

“The Springboks really put their hands up against the Lions and kept their form, which was good to see,” Nche said. “We have some really special backs.

“But it’s going to be a good challenge this weekend against Kitshoff and the boys. We were shocked when we saw they were 18-0 up in the first half at Loftus Versfeld. We expected the Bulls to come out steaming.

“This Saturday, whoever pitches on the day and executes their plan will come out on top and it’s going to be a pretty good challenge. The Stormers will come here with big confidence.

“We have to man up and be at our best. If we can pull it off, it would be a major win for us, and especially for me because it will be the first time I’m playing with fans back at home,” Nche said.

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