Etienne Fynn says the Sharks will look to force the Cheetahs veterans into errors as they look to bounce back from a humbling loss to the Pumas when they play in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
With three rounds of the tournament remaining – including this week’s action – five sides remain in contention for the play-offs, with the Sharks currently lying in third place on the log, but knowing there can be no slip-ups as fourth-placed Griquas are only three points behind and the Pumas, with a game in hand, a further two points adrift in fifth place.
Last week, the Sharks suffered a 20-10 defeat to the Pumas in Durban, which delt a blow to the home side’s hopes of hosting a semi-final.
Looking for a reaction from his team, Fynn has named a much-changed pack for Saturday’s clash, with a new front row, while Emile van Heerden, Dylan Richardson and Mpilo Gumede also start.
“The guys were still emotionally bruised on Monday, but they certainly have trained well this week so we are looking forward to a positive performance,” Fynn said.
“Self-reflection is everything. I try to do that myself because the buck ultimately stops with me. The players have to do some self-reflection. If they don’t come back and provide the answers we are looking for, then we have to act. Fortunately, we have had positive reactions from those guys who were the guilty parties and let’s see what happens on Saturday.”
Powered by Bok veterans Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar, the Cheetahs have been imperious in the Currie Cup this year, winning all eight of their fixtures and picking up four bonus points along the way.
“They have a very settled group, combinations that have played throughout the tournament. We simply have to put them under pressure and force those big players to make poor decisions,” Fynn said. “That’s ultimately how you affect any settled side.
“We have got to bring the heat. We are well aware how important those individuals are to the Cheetahs’ cause. We have to unsettle them and make sure that the quality ball they are used to getting is disrupted.”
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