Planet Rugby

Sharks confident of success - White

24th July 2014 08:33


Sharks director of rugby Jake White

Quietly confident: Jake White

If Sharks boss Jake White is nervous about his side's chances in Saturday's clash with the Crusaders he's certainly not showing it.

White said his side's 30-25 victory over the seven-time champions at Christchurch's AMi Stadium in May was a great confidence booster ahead of this weekend's semi-final at the same venue.

That victory over the Crusaders was a historic one, as it was the first time they beat the Crusaders in New Zealand since the start of the tournament in 1996.

That the men from Durban achieved it with flanker Jean Deysel red carded, after 16 minutes for a stomping offence, and fellow loose forward Willem Alberts spending 10 minutes in the sin bin late in the second half makes the result even more remarkable.

And White believes that his side can secure another win, against the odds, this weekend.

"We're confident that if we play properly we can beat anyone anywhere and that's what you have to believe," he told New Zealand's Newswire.

The former Springbok coach expects a stronger challenge from the Crusaders, who have been bolstered by the inclusion of All Blacks Kieran Read, Dan Carter, Israel Dagg, Matt Todd and Dominic Bird in recent weeks.

"But in saying that we beat them last year in Durban and this year in Christchurch," added White.

"So in reality this group of players have won home and away and I'm sure we're looking forward to playing knock-out rugby again this weekend where the winner takes all."

White said his side's aim is to play to their strengths with their forwards hoping to repeat the dominant display which paved the way to victory over the Highlanders in their play-off last weekend.

"We're very dominant and orientated in our set piece, but we would like to believe there is more to our game," he explained.

"But knockout rugby is about playing to your strengths. The Crusaders are one of the most conservative teams but they are consistently the best of all five New Zealand franchises."

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