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Ken Borland

Sharks looking to come to the boil quickly v Zebre

Posted on April 11, 2022 by Ken

The Sharks will be looking to come to the boil quickly against Zebre Parma in their United Rugby Championship match at Kings Park on Saturday evening, with coach Sean Everitt identifying this as a key aspect if they are to emulate what the Stormers did to the Italian side last weekend in Stellenbosch.

Zebre were hammered 55-7 by the Stormers, who raced into a 21-0 lead after just 11 minutes. The Sharks, meanwhile, have been steadily climbing the URC log after three successive bonus point wins.

“It was really important that Western Province played exceptionally well in the first 30 minutes and put Zebre to bed,” Everitt said. “So Zebre are not as bad a side as that final scoreline suggests.

“They ran Ospreys really close a couple of weeks ago, they are unpredictable and dangerous and we have got to be accurate with our execution from the start.

“We’ve got a full house of points from our last three games but it’s not about the points, it’s about our performance and the performance has not been where we want it to be.

“So our focus is on rectifying that and then we’ll be able to stay in the top eight and be a threat in the quarterfinals,” Everitt said.

Being on a winning run has allowed Everitt to gently curate his personnel and he will be hoping the presence of outside centre Ben Tapuai and scrumhalf Grant Williams in the starting backline assists their attacking efforts, which have not always been on-par with the sterling displays of their pack.

Against lowly Zebre, flyhalf Curwin Bosch also really needs to find his spark in directing the attacking play.

Other areas of focus which Everitt highlighted are:

  • Stopping the good Zebre maul
  • Making sure they have good width on defence to handle Zebre’s penchant for attacking on both sides of the ruck
  • Handling Zebre’s long kicking game, and making good decisions and executing well when it comes to counter-attacking off those kicks
  • Ensuring there is better accuracy in their own kicking game.

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