Sharks take balanced approach

Michael Horak says the Sharks will put equal emphasis on attack and defence this season.

New director of rugby Gary Gold has expressed his desire for the Sharks to play more attacking rugby in 2015 after they scored just 29 tries in 16 league matches under Jake White in 2014.

However, Horak insists defence remains a vital aspect of their game.

'We want to play in the right areas of the field and become an attacking force, that’s what will bring fans back,' the new Sharks defence coach told their website. 'But defence is just as important and we have been working really hard on that as well.

'The main challenge is that you have to defend against teams generating quick ball, with time and space to attack.

'In the northern hemisphere, there is a lot more emphasis on the fact that the ball is wet, the grounds are heavier and so the passes are a bit slower. Here quick ball is everything, so you have to get the basics right and to be really good in terms of discipline to ensure you don’t give away penalties that put you under further pressure defensively.'

The Sharks play Toulon in a pre-season friendly at the Stade Mayol on Thursday (9:50pm on SuperSport 1) before opening their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign against the Cheetahs at Kings Park on 14 February.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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