Sharks in Sydney for Super 14 semi - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks in Sydney for Super 14 semi

By Adrian Warren 19/05/2008 06:33:52 PM Comments (0)

The Sharks are determined to avoid being bullied at the breakdown again by the Waratahs and believe they are lifting at the right time of their season heading into Saturday's Super 14 rugby semi-final against NSW.

The South African side arrived in Sydney on Monday afternoon after clinching third spot on the log with a 47-25 final round home flogging of the Chiefs.

After dropping three straight matches on their Australasian leg, the Sharks have piled up 12 tries and bonus point victories in their final two fixtures.

"We stayed at one level for a while, but the last couple of weeks there's been a good improvement," Sharks coach Dick Muir said upon the team's arrival in Sydney.

Muir wouldn't commit the Sharks to necessarily playing the same style of rugby this week.

He suggested the Sharks wouldn't be drawn into the same kind of match as their last clash with the Waratahs in Sydney back in round 11 when they lost 25-10.

On that occasion, Muir's team trailed just 3-0 at halftime before leaking four tries in the second half.

"I think we were bullied at the breakdown and I think we went to sleep for about 15 minutes and they scored a whole lot of tries," Muir recalled.

"But they certainly controlled the breakdown area and we made silly mistakes."

Asked about what he would do to avoid a repetition of their breakdown deficiencies from last time, Muir said: "We've just got to box a little bit clever and try not to be at the breakdown too much.

"Our defence has got to be good and we've got to be accurate in our execution of whatever tactics we come up with."

Muir said the Sharks had one or two players with slight injuries.

His main concern was Springboks prop BJ Botha, who has a calf muscle strain.

Muir downplayed any suggestion the long trip to Sydney at short notice would disadvantage his side.

"I think we've all become used to travelling, so it shouldn't give them (NSW) too much of an advantage," Muir said.

Asked for his impressions of the Waratahs' hard-earned final round win over Queensland, Muir replied: "It was a typical local derby where I don't think either side played particularly well."

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