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Ken Borland

Getting overwrought about finishing would be counter-productive, but Sharks need to be more clinical

Posted on April 19, 2022 by Ken

Getting overwrought about it would be counter-productive, but the Sharks really need to be more clinical with their finishing if they hope to beat Edinburgh in their United Rugby Championship match at Kings Park on Saturday.

Edinburgh, who at one stage were second on the log before slipping to their current fifth place, are the highest-ranked team the Sharks will be facing since losing 35-24 to Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun early last October.

The Sharks do have the confidence of a four-match winning streak, but they only just beat a 14-man Bulls side in Pretoria before wins over Benetton Treviso, Scarlets and Zebre Parma (the last two at home) were comfortable enough, but there was enough sloppiness for coach Sean Everitt to be agitated.

Against a top side like Edinburgh, the try-scoring chances will be fewer and further apart, and the Sharks cannot afford to let the 150-year-old Scottish club gain a foothold in the match through their own wastefulness.

“We need to finish the opportunities we have created,” Everitt said this week. “We can’t leave four tries on the table like we did against Zebre, two of which were open-line passes that went astray.

“They were all elemental, quite fundamental errors that cost us the tries. It’s a shame because the guys have worked hard off the ball and we would have had really good wins if we had scored those extra tries,” Everitt said.

It will certainly be a highly motivated Edinburgh side as they look to arrest their slide and also make up for their 30-17 loss to archrivals Glasgow in last week’s 1872 Cup derby.

The Edinburgh team for Saturday is studded with South African products in props Boan Venter and Luan de Bruin and replacement flyhalf Jaco van der Walt. Blair Kinghorn is back from the Scotland team to start in the No.10 jersey for Edinburgh, while flank Hamish Watson, the 2021 Six Nations Player of the Tournament, also returns. Fullback Emiliano Boffelli will be well-known to South African fans as one of the stars of the Jaguares team in Super Rugby. Wing Ramiro Moyano is also a former Jaguares kingpin with 34 caps for Argentina.

“Edinburgh are a dangerous team that plays similar to Scotland. They keep the ball moving and they have dangerous backs.

“They will also bring a lot of pressure at the breakdown. We will have to defend well to keep their attack in check,” was the info Everitt was willing to divulge about his opposition.

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