Jean-Luc du Preez says the Sharks want to produce an 80-minute performance against Western Province in Saturday’s Currie Cup final at Newlands.
The Durban-based side narrowly escaped a second-half Golden Lions fightback in their semi-final last weekend and will now face the team that handed them a 50-28 defeat in September, their only loss of the tournament.
After watching WP play 20 minutes of extra-time against the Bulls, Du Preez says the Sharks will need to match them for stamina if they are to stand any chance of lifting the trophy.
‘I think we can take a lot out of that game [the loss against WP]. As with last weekend, we did not have a full 80-minute performance. I think we got a bit complacent [against the Lions] as we did against Western Province. We are focusing on going the full 80, or full 90 if that is what it takes.’
The Springbok flank underwent surgery on a long-standing groin injury towards the end of August, which kept him out for seven weeks, but made a successful comeback off the bench in the Sharks’ last two matches against Griquas and the Lions.
‘Obviously being sidelined for three-and-a-half months is not ideal but fortunately we are in the final again this year and hopefully we can bring the cup home.
‘We have one of the best bios [biokineticist] in the country Jimmy [Wright], who helped me quite a bit. When I got back onto the field I felt like I hadn’t felt in about two years. I feel really good.’
Du Preez admitted that last year’s final loss to WP was in the back of their minds.
‘Losing a home final is not ideal but we are fortunate enough to be in the final again this year and another place that is almost as good as Kings Park is Newlands so I am really looking forward to the clash.’
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) October 22, 2018
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images