Sharks ready for the unexpected

Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach says the Vodacom Bulls may adjust their game plan for Saturday's big Super Rugby match at Loftus.

The Bulls are under pressure having lost their first two matches against the Stormers and Hurricanes, and a third defeat at home could end their hopes of winning the South African conference, even at this early stage of the season.

While the Bulls tried to played more positive rugby against the Canes – kicking just 11 times compared to 29 the week before – they struggled again in the scrums, were vulnerable in the lineouts and dominated in the collisions. They were also too predictable on attack, apart from fullback Jesse Kriel who made two of the team's three linebreaks.

Reinach isn't sure how the Bulls will play on Saturday in a match they have to win.

‘Their backs are against the wall, so they are going to throw everything at us,' he told 'We might get the unexpected, or the normal kick-and-chase and strong mauling game.'

Piet van Zyl wore the No 9 jersey during the Bulls' first two matches, with Francois Hougaard on the left wing. Reinach doesn't mind who he comes directly up against on Saturday.

'They are both very good decision-makers, and have good passing and kicking games,' he said.

Reinach enjoys attacking rugby – he is one of four players to have made four clean breaks after two rounds – but kicked 22 times against the Lions in wet conditions last Saturday.

'We obviously kicked a lot because of the weather and played what was in front of us,' he said. 'The way we play is we try to attack the space, so if I see a gap I will attack it. The same applies to other players, so from that point of view we have a licence to play.'

Pat Lambie also controlled the game well for the Sharks – kicking accurately out of hand – and with Reinach, forms one of the competition's best halfback combinations.

‘I enjoy playing with Pat because he's a calm and cool-headed player,' said Reinach. 'I can get a bit erratic sometimes, so he helps to calm me down.’

Reinach earned six Test caps for the Boks last year and says the experience has made him work even harder this year to ensure he gets back into the squad.

He has yet to hear when he'll be rested during this year's Super Rugby tournament, as part of Saru's policy for Springboks, but would prefer to get as much game time as possible.

‘The only way to get better as a player is to play as much you can,’ he said.

Photo: Sabelo Mngoma/BackpagePix

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