Sharks coach Robert Du Preez has confidence in his team’s defence ahead of a crucial Super Rugby meeting with the Hurricanes in Durban.
Du Preez feels that the Hurricanes will provide a big test to his team who have conceded fewer points than any other team in Super Rugby bar the Crusaders.
The coach is looking forward to the battle between the number 10s Curwin Bosch and Beauden Barrett, which could wind up being key to the outcome of the match.
“It’s fantastic, Curwin has done really well and it’s going to be a really good, but nice test for him,” explains head coach Robert du Preez. “And for the entire backline because we know how lethal the Hurricanes can be.”
The Sharks defence held its own against a Lions attack that would not quit last week and it will be no different against a Kiwi outfit that embraces an attacking style of rugby.
“We know that we don’t want to kick any loose balls to them, that will be a big focus for us. Our defence has been really good this year but Saturday will certainly be an acid test for us,” the coach added in the pre-match press conference.
The Sharks players recognize the need to be clinical against a team that can score points in the blink of an eye.
“We expect a running game, a lot of possession from both teams; it’s going to be a battle of who can turn possession into points,” said lock Ruan Botha.
The match is shaping up to be a contest of the Sharks defence against the Hurricanes attack.
“They have the second most points in the competition and we know a quality side they are; we’re going to have to play for the full 80 minutes. We’ll have to execute our plan with precision, they’re a top-class unit.” said Sharks Assistant Coach Nick Easter.
The two teams have met 22 times in Super Rugby with the Sharks having won on 11 occasions and the Hurricanes ten, with one match drawn. In Durban, the Sharks have been dominant, winning seven and losing three of the ten meetings since 1997. The Hurricanes last won in Durban in 2005.
Head to Head:
2014: Sharks 27-9 Hurricanes
2015: Hurricanes 32-24 Sharks
2016: Sharks 32-15 Hurricanes
2016: Hurricanes 41-0 Sharks
2018: Hurricanes 38-37 Sharks
Referee: Nic Berry
Kick-off: Saturday 1 June
Venue: KINGS PARK