The Hollywoodbets Sharks are up against the Scarlets in tonight’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash with their eyes firmly on this match as they look to a clinical, winning performance.

With much of the attention and talk around the Hollywoodbets Sharks’ EPCR Challenge Cup semi-final next week, Head coach John Plumtree, speaking from the team’s base ahead of this URC match acknowledged that while it is a focal point in rugby circles, his team had only one thing on their minds collectively, and that’s this evening’s match.

“That’s been the focus and was spelt out to the team when we all joined each other on Saturday night.  We’ve gone about our business with no talk about Clermont from within the camp. We’ve gone about a normal week and that’s gone pretty well.”

Although all eyes are on the Scarlets, ultimately in the grand scheme of things, a good performance tonight will be the launching pad the team wants going into their knock-out game in a week’s time.

What exactly does the coach want to see?

“Just that our set-piece functions well, we know how important that will be over the next two weeks and defensively I thought we were good last week apart from a couple of soft moments close to our line and I’m hoping our defence functions really well.

“We also need to be disciplined, certain areas of the park are really important in the modern game around conceding penalties.

“And that we get some nice attacking moments.

“But really, it’s about our defence, set-piece and discipline. If we get those parts right, then we know we are pretty tough to beat.”

Looking at Scarlets and the threat they pose, Plumtree once again spoke of discipline being crucial.

“In particular in the area between your 22 and the halfway line, you concede soft penalties and give them access into your 22 where they drive or kick for goal. You have to just be so disciplined in this area.

“Discipline is going to be a massive factor. In the last few of weeks we haven’t conceded more than seven or eight penalties per game, and in the last two weeks, five and four, so when you get your penalty count down around there, it makes it tough for the opposition to win.”

Scarlets will know they have a battle on their hands against a Springbok-laden Hollywoodbets Sharks side intent on coming away with a win. Bongi Mbonambi and James Venter only arrived late from Durban, but the side chosen for this match isn’t far from first choice.

“We’re not far away and I’m keen to see Gerbrandt Grobelaar at seven, he has the skillset for a loose-forward, it’s just if there are a couple of other areas in his game whether he’s good enough to be a loose-forward or not but certainly he’s mobile enough, he’s an excellent ball-winner and playing there, I reckon he has the skillsets.  It’s just if he can push for a position in that department in a short space of time.

“As for the rest, I think we’re well-settled.  

Earning his 50th cap is Werner Kok who Plumtree was full of praise for, and not only for his antics on the field.

“Whenever there’s a function, Werner is first to put up his hand to help organise. He turns up every week wanting to be better, he has a great character and he’s just a beautiful person.

“It’s going to be a massive loss for us when he leaves and he’ll be hard to replace.”