Gold is ‘very proud’ of his men

Date published: May 11 2016

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The Sharks' victory over the Hurricanes on Saturday reignited their play-off hopes as they close in on Africa Two Conference leaders, the Lions.

The Durban side outscored the 2015 finalists by four tries to two, with Springbok winger JP Pietersen getting a brace.

Director of rugby Gary Gold firmly believes the next few weeks will be crucial for his charges as they will in all likelihood be without a few key players who will be doing duty for the Springboks and Baby Boks.

Ireland will face South Africa in a three-match Test series in June and the Junior Springboks travel to England to compete in the Junior World Championship also in June.

Gold's men are set to face the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday and will be hoping to continue with their winning form.

"We will have players involved with the Boks and also with the South African U20 side, but the rest of the guys will be away for a lengthy period, and they can use it, as we have been through a hectic couple of weeks," Gold told reporters.

"I don’t think any South African team in the history of the competition has had to play against Kiwi team for four weeks consecutively, like we have. 

"Three big games in New Zealand was followed by one here against the Hurricanes, and it was a great effort by the guys to get up for the Kings Park game and win it like they did. I was very proud of them.

"However, we now fly to Buenos Aires, and it is a first for us. We’ve never had to fly home from New Zealand and then a week later fly in a different direction to Argentina. 

"After the good win over the Hurricanes the guys will be chuffed and will be in a confident mood, but I know how hard it is going to be to get them up for yet another big game."

Table topping side, the Lions, are one point ahead of the Sharks but the former have played one game less.

The Growthpoint Stadium outfit have four games left after this week's encounter with the Argentinians. The mid-season break will be welcomed by the Sharks, but not before they host the basement dwelling Kings on May 21.

"I’ve impressed upon the guys that they are going to have to dig deep one more time," added Gold.

"After this we play the Kings and then we have a long holiday from Super Rugby.

"There’s been a lot of character shown by the players over the past few weeks, but we are going to have to do it one more time and I know it won’t be easy."

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