Gary Gold says the Sharks will benefit from improved conditioning during the upcoming Currie Cup, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
The Sharks will play a pre-season friendly against the Golden Lions in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night, before kicking off their Currie Cup campaign against the Pumas on 7 August.
After a disappointing Vodacom Super Rugby season, which saw the Durban side finish 11th, the Sharks' director of rugby believes one area of improvement will be the players’ fitness and conditioning.
‘I really hope it [the conditioning] is going to be a lot better than what we’ve seen in the past,' Gold said. 'Of the two keys areas in the pre-season, that has been one of them. For whatever reason, during the course of the Super Rugby season, I just felt our conditioning wasn’t where it could have been. We’ve addressed that in no uncertain terms and I’m really happy now.’
The Sharks boasted ambitions of playing an attractive ball-in-hand brand of rugby during the Super Rugby season, but they ultimately failed to fire on attack.
‘You can have all the best intentions in the world, but if you don’t have petrol in the engine, then your car isn’t going to run,’ Gold commented. ‘You need to be fit enough to play the game we want, to be able to defend for 80 minutes, to play a running game and to score the tries we want to score.’
Gold said he was expecting a new-look squad to play with the necessary intensity and accuracy to produce winning rugby.
‘The hard work and stuff we’ve said, it all means very little unless we can transfer that into a cohesive game plan … I’m really looking for the guys to step up to the plate against the Lions, who must be Currie Cup favourites.’
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images