Sharks wary of Bulls backlash

Sharks assistant coach Paul Anthony on the win over the Lions and what they're expecting from the Bulls on Saturday.

How pleased were the Sharks to score four tries against the Lions in wet conditions?

To score four tries at Kings Park in any conditions is massive, especially in the conditions we had on Saturday against the Lions. This is only the fourth time in five years that four tries have been scored, excluding the four tries the Cheetahs scored last week.

How did you adjust your game plan to deal with the conditions?

We stuck with the game plan we had come in with. We always planned to put pressure on at scrum time, maul and play a territorial game, which worked in our favour.  

When were you told that the game would be going ahead, and did that uncertainly disrupt the team at all?

We were never told the game wasn’t going to be played, we always just assumed it was going ahead. There was no disruption to the team in the buildup to the game.

Were you pleased with the way Pat Lambie controlled the game in the wet?

Pat was superb. His cross-kicks into the corner and the way he kept the Lions pinned in their half was outstanding. That’s Pat Lambie; that’s why we call him the general. 

What impact did Bismarck du Plessis's return have at scrum time?
To have Bismarck back on the field is absolutely massive. He connects well with his brother, Jannie, his leadership is there and what he demands of the players is delivered upon.

How do you expect the Bulls to play on Saturday, considering they have lost their first two games?
The Bulls will put their heads down and come out more determined than ever. We are expecting a massive backlash. I don’t think they will be panicking, there’s no time to panic. They would have felt they could have won the last game [against the Hurricanes].

Which of their players pose the biggest threat?
Handré Pollard is always a big threat with his boot and the way he attacks the line. Pierre Spies will be looking to put in a big performance as leader of the Bulls, while Francois Hougaard is always a danger man, whether on the wing or at scrumhalf. We are expecting a very strong Bulls team for Saturday’s game.

Will the Sharks pick their best team for the clash or rotate in some positions?
We will pick our best team, but there will be some rotational changes in one or two positions. We're looking at implementing a rotational system moving forward in the competition.

Interview by Nick Lambie

Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix