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Sharks not relying on past performances

Sharks coach John Plumtree says what has happened in the past is in the past

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Article Published: Friday 1 March 2013|

Sharks coach John Plumtree has insisted that last year's Currie Cup final and their Super Rugby Semi-final victory over the Stormers will have no bearing on what happens when they face the Stormers in Durban on Saturday.

The coastal teams clash at Kings Park after contrasting fortunes in the opening round of the Super Rugby campaign, when the KwaZulu-Natal franchise ousted the Cheetahs and the men from Cape Town were beaten by the Bulls.

"One game and one loss at Loftus isn't the end of the world," Plumtree said of the Stormers' 25-17 defeat in Pretoria.

"There is still a long way to go, both in the tournament and in the SA conference.

"So I don't think the Stormers will be too worried, they're still a good side."

During the premier domestic final last season, Western Province arrived in Durban as massive underdogs, but left the east coast by ending their 11-year wait for a major trophy with a 25-18 victory.

"That loss hurts me, but it has no relevance to this contest," the Sharks boss said.

"The media love making a big thing of revenge, but it means nothing.

"Hopefully later in the year we'll have the opportunity to win it back, but right now our focus is on this game, as will be theirs.

"They will have their objectives for the weekend, just like us. This is a big derby game and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to it."

Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said his side would make some changes in their approach in an effort to secure their first win of the competition.

"We need to have a much better attitude and have more intensity, and that comes with being well prepared as a team," De Villiers said.

"Sometimes you lose to a better team and sometimes you lose because you don't pitch up. We didn't pitch up (against the Bulls) and that will never be acceptable in the Stormers team."

Coach Allister Coetzee believed the Stormers faced a difficult contest against their hosts.

"The Sharks will always be favourites at home and we always knew that we would have a tough start to the tournament this season," Coetzee said.

"We're playing two games away from home for starters and then play another team that is in the top three franchises.

"The Sharks aren't the favourites for nothing. They are playing well, they are coming off a good win over the Cheetahs, they have a good squad and certain players are already on song."

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