Fixing the Little Things

Although the Cell C Sharks went down narrowly to the DHL Stormers at JONSSON KINGS PARK in last week’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash, it’s all about fixing the little things to get back on track.

Reflecting on the match, prop Juan Schoeman explains that, “We’re definitely not happy with our performance as a forward pack and this weekend we will be looking to up the ante upfront, especially at set-piece, but also in the loose phases and at the breakdowns.

“The Stormers brought it physically and had the upper hand, so our focus on the Bulls this weekend is stepping up,” he argues. “We’re looking forward to a real battle, we know it’s going to be tough, a physical contest as they always are against the Vodacom Bulls.”

The set-piece structure and performance was a big part of the forwards’ focus during the pre-season and in the opening two matches – against the Sunwolves and Blues – functioned according to plan.

“But if you lose the first scrum then it’s going to be a long day and it all starts there. There were one or two scrums where we actually did well, so we’ll try to take that into the game and perform like that for every scrum against the Vodacom Bulls.

“We know what we need to fix and we’ve worked hard in training to do just that.

“It’s all about tweaking the small details and playing as a pack this weekend.”

This promise stems from a desire by the forwards to set the record straight against the Vodacom Bulls.

“We are always up for a challenge, come quarter past five on Saturday, the battle begins,” he explains. “We are up for that.”

Schalk Brits and Duane Vermeulen were signed by the Vodacom Bulls for the 2019 season and Schoeman believes their impact has been massive.

“They bring a lot of experience and the players around them can learn so much from them. They have definitely helped their coaches.”

Reflecting on the Vodacom Bulls victory over the Emirates Lions last week, he points out that, “They had a great performance against the Lions, you could see it in their set-piece, in their defence. But the nice thing about this game we play, there’s a new opportunity each week.

“Saturday is another opportunity; for both of us. We are excited and we’re ready.”