Currie Cup

Sharks remain positive about Currie Cup season

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 Losing the first match under the guidance of John Smit and Brendan Venter was a setback, but Sharks forwards coach, Brad Macleod-Henderson, was adamant the Durban side can still have a successful Currie Cup season.

“You obviously take any loss personally and it always hurts,” Macleod-Henderson said.

“The key thing is to be rational about it, to stay focused and to try and put right the areas you got wrong straight away.”

The coastal franchise went down 32-30 in the opening game of the 2013 campaign against Griquas last Friday, in a match which marked the first for the coaching team, led by director of rugby Venter and recently-appointed chief executive Smit.

“What happened is behind us and we can do nothing about it, so we need to look forward,” he said.

“It’s obviously never good to lose a home game. Hopefully it’s the last one we do lose.”

The Sharks, runners-up in the competition last season when they lost to Western Province in the final, host the Lions at home this weekend — a game the visitors would also be determined to win, following their opening 30-29 loss to the Cheetahs.

That scenario could make for an even tighter contest, according to Macleod-Henderson.

“It will be a physical challenge as all Currie Cup games are.

“It is a crucial game for both of us considering we’re both coming off losses.”

The Sharks were particularly poor at the set-piece last week, something they had already addressed ahead of the weekend’s encounter.

“We’ve had a good look at our set phase and we’ve had a good look at our defence,” the forwards coach said.

“The scrums are an area we’ve chatted about and we’ll be trying really hard to get it right.

“It’s a combination of factors that led to the problems. It wasn’t just one issue and I think we need to work as a unit, collectively to rectify it.”

Utility back SP Marais will make his debut after his recent move from the Southern Kings.

“He joined us late last week for one session and he’s now here full-swing,” Macleod-Henderson said.

“He’s raring to go and we’re looking forward to seeing him on the wing.”

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