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Ken Borland

Sharks need to draw on deepest deposits of energy so Everitt goes for 6 forwards on the bench 0

Posted on July 20, 2021 by Ken

The Sharks are going to have to draw on their deepest deposits of physicality and energy for the full 80 minutes if they hope to get the better of the British and Irish Lions, according to coach Sean Everitt, which is why he named a bench with six forwards on it for their clash at Ellis Park on Wednesday night.

JJ van der Mescht and Reniel Hugo are the two locks on the bench, but it is not just brute force that the Shaks will require but also the ability to play at a high tempo.

“It’s going to be a great challenge, we learnt a lot from their game against our Lions, who probably weren’t aware what an international team can bring. They play at a high intensity, they’re always trying to speed the game up, which is something we have been working on but we are not quite there yet. We are going to have to keep up for 80 minutes, which is why we went for a 6/2 split on the bench.

“From a physicality point of view the Lions are right up there and they can vary their game – go from contestable kicks to a running game because they have high-quality players. There’s no room for error, they give you nothing, they have incredible line-speed on defence and they put a lot of pressure on at the breakdown. We are going to need a really good team effort,” Everitt said on Monday.

Ensuring there are enough reserves in the kitty to still play high-tempo rugby in the final quarter is a challenge all South African teams are going to have to adapt to against European opposition, according to Everitt.

“In Europe there’s a big emphasis on ball-in-play time and that’s the biggest challenge from a South African point of view. Ulster and Leinster played a game recently where the ball-in-play time was 52 minutes, while in the last Currie Cup we were averaging 26-30 minutes. It’s why Rassie Erasmus stepped in with a plan to increase that. The Lions game at the weekend had 39 minutes ball-in-play.

“It’s certainly something the Sharks have been working on, we want to play at a higher intensity because it’s what we’ll need later in the year. So this game against the Lions will be a good test of how far we still have to go. We know the Lions go hard at the ball, they’re physical in the tackle and try to hold you up, so we’ve got to get to the ball quickly,” Everitt said.

Sharks: Manie Libbok, Werner Kok, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw, Thaakir Abrahams, Curwin Bosch, Jaden Hendrikse, Phepsi Buthelezi (c), Thembelani Bholi, James Venter, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Khutha Mchunu, Fez Mbatha, Khwezi Mona. Bench – Kerron van Vuuren, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Wiehahn Herbst, JJ van der Mescht, Reniel Hugo, Dylan Richardson, Grant Williams, Anthony Volmink.

Van Zyl warns brilliant win over Sharks is worth nothing if Bulls don’t build on it 0

Posted on October 28, 2020 by Ken

Bulls scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl has warned that their brilliant victory over the Sharks is worth nothing unless they build on it and maintain that momentum in their huge games coming up against the Stormers in Pretoria on Saturday and versus the Lions at Ellis Park the following weekend.

Top spot on the log is their’s at the moment, but the Bulls will need to keep winning to hold off the thus far unbeaten Free State Cheetahs and Stormers, who have won both their matches, because Jake White’s team then have a bye.

“As a team we took a lot of confidence from the Sharks game and that performance couldn’t have come at a better time. Before that we had been a bit stop-start, we didn’t have much flow in our first two games. Every game is important but now it’s really important that we build on that display and move forward, otherwise that win won’t help us.

“We have a couple of massive games coming up, but at least we were more clinical at the right times, there was better decision-making and we identified space better. Better decisions lead to better play, and this time we rounded off our chances. Coach Jake is very good at making sure that it is all about getting the team to win and we all understand our roles every week,” Van Zyl said.

While the Bulls were much more accurate with ball in hand, and also off the boot, their defence was also highly impressive against the Sharks as they conceded just one try.

“We’re very happy with our defence and the combination of scoring six tries and just conceding one is massive for us. The more consistent we are in our defence, the more opportunities we’ll have to win, so it’s something we continue to work on and against the Stormers we’ll come up against different players with different skill-sets. But we take a lot of confidence from the defensive effort against the Sharks.

“Joey Mongalo has been great for us as defence coach, he has great energy and clearly loves what he does, he’s passionate about defence and that rubs off on the team. We are eager to get better every week. The basics of our defensive system haven’t changed that much, but there’s a new energy,” Van Zyl said.

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    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

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