Centre Jeremy Ward says the Sharks have been working on their defensive shape ahead of Saturday’s semi-final challenge against a Bok-laden Golden Lions side.
The Sharks beat the Lions by a fairly comfortable 16 points when the two sides last met at Kings Park earlier in the season. However, since then, the Lions have been boosted by the return of Boks such as Warren Whiteley, Elton Jantjies and Aphiwe Dyantyi, who are all expected to feature in the semi-final.
Ward said that while the Sharks are mindful of the challenge that awaits this Saturday, he insisted that the team’s focus during the week has been inward.
‘The Lions have a few guys coming back which will give us a lot of different challenges from the previous time we played them. We’ve worked hard on our defensive shape this week, it’s all about sticking to our systems and structure because if we can keep them out, hopefully we can put enough points on the board.
‘They bring a different challenge, you have to be on the lookout for them, but it would be foolish to say that we’re putting our energy and focus on those players. Our focus is on ourselves and our systems because we know that if we stick to what we’re good at, we will be able to pull off a result.’
This is the second successive Currie Cup home semi-final for the Sharks, and Ward reiterated that the team was determined to go all the way this year.
‘We’ve been speaking about consistency as a union for a long time, so to get a home semi-final two years in a row is really good. But it’s all about taking it one step further than last year. However, we aren’t looking past this game, to the final. Our focus is on Saturday and on getting a good result.
‘We’ve worked really hard to get here, to secure a home semi-final and the boys are really hungry,’ Ward added. ‘So it’s really about channelling that hunger and making sure we take to the field in the right frame of mind.’
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