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Sharks under pressure - Adriaanse

01st July 2014 16:54

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Work to do: Lourens Adriaanse

There will be extra pressure on the Sharks now that they are no longer Super Rugby leaders, according to prop Lourens Adriaanse.

The Durban franchise were overtaken by the Waratahs at the top of the table over the weekend, with the Australians three points clear after comprehensively winning their game in hand, 39-8 against the Brumbies.

"I think so (there'll be extra pressure), but I think there's pressure in every game," said Adriaanse.

"It will be important to keep the focus on our own game, try to do the best we can and give ourselves the best opportunity to win."

Jake White's men face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this week, before hitting the road to take on the Stormers in Cape Town in the final Super Rugby round-robin game next weekend.

Victory in their last two matches would still ensure a top-two finish and a home semi-final, as well as hopes of hosting the August 2 final.

It would also give the Sharks an additional bye on the first weekend of the play-offs.

"The way things stand, if we can win both games then we'll have a home semi-final, so the two games are very important for us."

The 26-year-old had played in every game for the Sharks this season, although all his appearances had been off the bench.

"I think the coach has managed the guys well through the season and used them the way he felt was best for the team.

"Going into the next few games, we'll have to see with the team selection. As a player you would hope to play a decent amount of rugby."

Adriaanse, who was in the Springbok squad for the recent June Test window without playing a single game, would come up against his former team-mates this weekend and felt they would be psyched for the contest despite already being eliminated from the competition.

"The Cheetahs are a well-balanced side with threats all over the team. They're dangerous from anywhere on the pitch and will be up for it," added Adriaanse.

"They'll be looking to build towards the Currie Cup and gain some momentum. The guys leaving will also have a point to prove, so they'll be dangerous."

A Sharks XV will take on the Kings in a friendly this weekend, with Carlos Spencer naming his team on Tuesday.

Kings squad to face Sharks: Lizo Gqoboka, Albe de Swardt, Charl du Plessis, Steven Cummins, David Bulbring, Thembelani Bholi, Devin Oosthuizen, Luke Watson (capt), Tobie Botes, Gary van Aswegen, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Shane Gates, Tim Whitehead, Siyanda Grey, Scott van Breda.

Replacements: Mike van Vuuren, Brenden Olivier, Tom Botha, Cameron Lindsay, Shaun McDonald, Enrico Akers, George Whitehead, Sergeal Petersen.

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South African Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks1650
2Bulls1638
3Stormers1632
4Lions1631
5Cheetahs1624