Sharks target getting defence right

Date published: January 28 2016

The Sharks are placing emphasis on their defensive systems and tactical kicking in preparation for this year's Super Rugby.

Following the side's poor Super Rugby campaign last year, topped off with an 11th-placed finish, the Durban-based side will be looking to fix up any areas that need improvement.

The Sharks' 2015 defensive record was a grim one – with 43 tries conceded and 368 missed tackles – seeing them deliver the second worst statistical defensive numbers in the competition.

New defence coach, Omar Mouneimne, says the Sharks are determined to turn things around this season.

“Last season we really had our struggles in terms of successful tackle completion, so we’ve obviously had to look very closely at what we needed to rectify,” he told SARugbymag.

“It’s vital that we deny the opposition quick ball and that we are very accurate in terms of our work at the breakdown on defence.

“Then it’s also vital that we make our first-time hits accurately and effectively. When you fail to do those two things, and allow the opposition to gain momentum on attack, it compromises your defensive system.”

The quality of the side's kicking game has also needed an upgrade.

Mouneimne added: “The Sharks last year were unable to deal with the kicking pressure applied by the New Zealanders who put accurate or contestable kicks into the right areas of the field at the right time, and then look to regain possession.”

The Sharks will kick off their Super Rugby campaign against the Kings on February 27.