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Sharks 'getting annoyed' with not winning finals

Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards

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Article Published: Wednesday 30 January 2013|

Assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards has revealed that the Sharks are "getting a bit annoyed" with reaching finals and missing out on winning titles.

The Sharks reached the 2012 final but the massive amount of travel they did en route to the final caught up with them and they were hammered 37-6 by the Chiefs.

The Sharks have also reached domestic finals in recent years (Currie Cup) and also fallen at the final hurdle which has led to opposition fans branding them as chokers. The Sharks also hosted the 2007 final but lost in the last minute to the Bulls.

"We've reached three finals in a row now and haven't nailed any of them, and the guys are getting a bit annoyed about that," said Reece-Edwards on the Sharks site.

"We know what we have to do, we know where we've made mistakes and that's a good thing."

"It's often those little failures that direct you as to where you need to do better and we've identified that, the players know it. The mental preparation we need to put into this is massive."

The Stormers won the South African Conference in 2012 which made the Sharks play off task more difficult as it meant they had to fly to Queensland and beat Australian Conference winners the Reds before flying back to South Africa where the faced the Stormers.

Having beaten the South African and the Australian Conference winners the Sharks had to fly to New Zealand to face the Chiefs in the final.

Reece-Edwards accepts that the Sharks campaign last season was all about a strong finish and admits that they need to start stronger in 2013 if they are to win the title.

"We can't start by losing the first few games and then playing catch-up, we have to start by playing positive, winning rugby. And we have to maintain that. "

"We have to look after the players, we have to manage each player. We're in a situation this year where we have a certain amount of depth and we can do that. "

"The ball is in our court at the moment, we've got to use it, and use it well."

Reece-Edwards says that he is pleased with the Sharks preparations for the 2013 Super Rugby season and also their depth this year.

"We're happy with where we are," he said after a practice session.

"If I look back two years at this time, we were really just starting out in terms of the way we were going to play and trying a few things out. Now the squad is quite settled and there is a good understanding of what we want to do."

"Depth-wise, there are two players in virtually every position fighting for that position, which is a healthy state for us to be in. But even if you have all that, the mind-sets have to be right and that is something we really have to nail down this year and that starts now.

The Sharks have a favourable draw this year as they play eight games in South Africa (five at home) before going on tour.

"The draw is quite different to what we've had and we're quite happy with that," he says.

"We have more games at home to start off with and there's the humidity factor to help us. But on the other side, we tour later to Australasia which means probably more rain and a bit colder then, but we played in lots of rain last year, so it's not the biggest concern for us.

"So we are quite happy to be at home initially and get some good games under the belt. A good start is going to be really important, if we get going well, then it paves the way for further down the line in the competition."

"I think it goes without saying that we would like to be Conference or log winners after the pool stages, that's something you always want, but it starts with winning your home games. "

"We have a few of those before we travel so it is really going to be important, and then obviously getting points when we are away.

"There is no reason why this side can't do well. It's something the players are aware of, something we are all aware of, and again, it's going to come down to us doing the right things at the right time."

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