Waratahs brace for Shark attack - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs brace for Shark attack

Adrian Warren 27/05/2011 11:50:52 AM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs are focusing on overcoming a physical onslaught from the Sharks in a crucial Super Rugby clash in Durban on Sunday morning (AEST).

The fifth-placed Waratahs (45 points) have the Highlanders, Sharks (both 43) and Bulls (40) all trying to chase them down with four rounds remaining.

And the Sharks, who have struggled for consistency after starting the season with four straight wins, are expected to challenge the Waratahs with an abrasive style of play.

"What we're concentrating on is really the physical side of it," Waratahs lock and acting captain Dean Mumm told AAP.

"The Sharks are an extremely physical side, they've got some wonderful ball carriers in Bismarck du Plessis and a number of other top forwards.

"With South African sides, if you don't front up physically then you're gong to struggle."

The South African leg of their campaign looms as a season-defining one for the Waratahs, who play the Bulls in Pretoria next week.

"If we do the job this weekend and the Waratahs lose to the Bulls, that puts them out," Sharks' coach John Plumtree said on his team's website.

Plumtree, whose side plays its last three games away to domestic rivals, said the Sharks couldn't afford to drop another match.

He will be missing Jannie du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Odwa Ndungane and Adrian Jacobs, but has regained the services of veteran front rower John Smit and No.8 Keegan Daniel.

Following the firestorm of comment on the Waratahs' style of rugby and the feisty fans' forum last week, Mumm wasn't unhappy to be out of Sydney.

"It's nice to get away and have time and do what we want to do, without everything on the periphery," Mumm said.

Lock Sitaleki Timani returns to the run-on side for a NSW team striving to build on successive home wins over the Rebels, Force and Lions.

"I think we've got some momentum, we had to earn our wins," Mumm said.

He emphasised the Sharks were exceptional at scoring off turnovers.

Coach Chris Hickey also stressed the need for his competition-leading defence to minimise mistakes and retain discipline to starve promising five-eighth Patrick Lambie of goalkicking opportunities.

"Our defence is going to have to be very good because they are a strong attacking side, " Hickey said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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