Sharks keen to correct scrum dilemma

DURBAN – The Sharks have long since dissected their poor performance against the Stormers at the Shark Tank last weekend.

It is now all about making better the little things that let them down, across the entire game plan.

The forwards have admitted that they were probably overwhelmed by the Stormers’ and their physicality, perhaps even a little complacent of the power in that pack.

Now, however, the men in the forwards know what is needed to try and overturn another strong South African pack.

“We are not happy with our performance as a pack against the Stormers,” Sharks prop Juan Schoeman said of his side’s efforts over the weekend.

“This Saturday we are looking to up the ante up front, especially at set piece, as well as in the loose phases and even the breakdown.

“The Stormers definitely brought it physically and they had the upper hand but that is in the past, and our focus is on the Bulls this weekend, and we are looking forward to their challenge. It will be a good battle, and a traditional Bulls battle, but we are ready.” 

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Juan Schoeman in action for the Sharks. Photo: Gerhard Duraan BackpagePix

If the Stormers were a challenge, the Bulls, on paper anyway, have a lot more beef in their forwards, boasting some Springbok veterans, as well as some strong youngsters.

“The Bulls are always physical, like last year they had improved their kicking game and so they are not the same as they used to be – rather they are more flexible in their attack and defence, especially with their great defence speed, and we have to work with that,” added Schoeman.

“The senior guys coming into the Bulls squad, like Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Brits, have brought a lot to their pack. There’s so much that their guys can learn from them, and even they have no doubt helped the coaches with getting the pack up for it.”

Schoeman, as a prop, is of course focusing in on his primary job which is to scrum. He more than likely will be coming off the bench with Beast Mtawarira ahead of him, but he will have an important role to play in the closing stages of the game when things get loose.

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“The pressure at the set piece came,” Schoeman said of the Stormers’ scrum.

“Especially for us losing the upper hand from the start, so if we cannot get the upper hand this week it is going to be a long day in the scrums especially.

It starts from the first scrum, we know we had some good scrums against the Stormers, so we will try and take that forward. But we have seen what we need to fix.”


The Mercury

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