Sharks happy with progress

Date published: September 1 2015

While there are still areas to continue working on, the Sharks are pleased that certain aspects of their game are starting to come together.

Their Currie Cup clash against the EP Kings was a game of two halves, but after a difficult first 40 minutes, they showed their potential in the second half to wrest control of the game and ultimately end victorious.

“It was tough and they came at us, but we did have the lion’s share of possession and territory,"said Sharks forward coach Ryan Strudwick.  

“However, the little mistakes are costing us in the end, we’re getting the ball through the phases but it’s that last pass or taking the ball too high – those things are stopping our momentum.

“But we are progressing, it’s getting better and better each week.”

There was a noticeable second half improvement in their scrumming and they started to get gains as they were able to turn good scrum ball into good attacking ball.

“Part of our plan was bringing Thomas du Toit on because we knew he would have fresh legs and that worked out quite nicely for us,” added Strudwick. 

“We are also blooding Thomas, I know we want to develop him as a tighthead and although we brought him on at loosehead, we are going to blood him at tighthead.”

One area that the Sharks are really performing well in is at the other important set-piece – line-outs. Penalties were kicked to touch with some valuable gains when they mauled the ball up after successfully securing lineout ball.

“We are happy with our own line-out, it’s working and improving and we are getting a lot of ball. I also thought we really destroyed their lineout, they didn’t get to play much off theirs because we really contested well," said Strudwick.

"But again, it’s something we are working very hard on and we’re improving week in and week out. We just need to keep those standards up.”

Talking high standards, Strudwick agrees that the young forwards are really stepping up and giving pleasing performances.

“The youngsters are settling down now and the nerves from the first few weeks are gone," he said.

"They’ve settled into the team now, there is more stability and they are starting to perform; we know they are quality, it’s just a matter of them reaching full potential.”