The Cell C Sharks acknowledge that their performance against Griquas at JONSSON KINGS PARK last Friday wasn’t good enough, but are confident and excited about fixing it against Western Province this weekend.
Cell C Sharks assistant coach David Williams believes that the team has the capability to perform well and bounce back in the right fashion.
“Credit to Griquas, their kicking game worked well, it was probably the right tactic for a Friday night game played in the rain,” he points out.
“We are disappointed because it wasn’t the performance we wanted to deliver as a team, but we’re excited knowing what this team can do going into this weekend’s match.”
After a big loss, what is necessary to right the ship?
“I think it’s about going back to basics, what you’re all about and what you stand for as a team,” he explains. “There was no one single area to fix, we came second in every aspect of the game, and when that happens, you’re going to come second on the scoreboard.”
While it was clear that Griquas were reaping the rewards of continuity from the beginning of the year and the Cell C Sharks a team in transition, Williams refuses to blame that.
“Time together in the saddle always makes a difference, but we’re not going to offer excuses, we know we’re better than that.”
Although the mood in the changeroom after the game was one of deep disappointment, Williams adds that: “That’s a good sign because it shows what it means to them to play for this union and there is a mix of excitement in training; there are wrongs they want to put right.
“The Currie Cup is a growth tournament for us, it’s about blooding players and an identity we want to see on the field, which must be good enough to win games and the hurt that these guys are carrying will stand us in good stead. We can deliver quality, we must this weekend.”
Western Province had a good first round outing and will come to Durban with confidence. Williams expects a tough, tight match between two evenly contested teams.
“Set-piece is a massive focus for them, you could see what they did to the Blue Bulls, it’s a point of strength in their game and they were very impressive there. But we see that as a strength of ours as well and if we can match them there, we see the game opening up and allowing our backs to get into the game.”
As a home game, it is crucial that the Cell C Sharks use their knowledge of local conditions and a proud support base behind them to spur the team on to victory.
“Home ground advantage adds a lot of spice to the match, the players are keen to atone for our performance against Griquas and there is a lot of excitement leading into this match,” Williams adds.
“The performance this week comes from both outside and within the organisation. The players feel that not only do they owe their fans, but also the team and their team-mates as well.”