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'Every game is a must win for the Sharks‚' says Akker van der Merwe

Akker van der Merwe of the Cell C Sharks gathers the ball during a Super Rugby game against the Lions at Kings Park, Durban on June 30 2018.
Akker van der Merwe of the Cell C Sharks gathers the ball during a Super Rugby game against the Lions at Kings Park, Durban on June 30 2018.
Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

The Sharks enjoy the last chance saloon and Saturday’s clash against the Stormers at Newlands will be one of many they have had to deal with this season.

However‚ the Stormers are out of the tournament and they will have a point to prove after losing to the Jaguares in Beunos Aires on Saturday.

The 25-14 reversal meant the Stormers have not won on the road this season but at their Newlands compound‚ they have been a difficult team.

However‚ their home ground hasn’t provided them with a lot of comfort with defeats against the Chiefs and Lions driving home their mediocrity.

Sharks hooker Akker van der Merwe knows the Stormers are a difficult proposition at home but the Durban side are still chasing a play-off spot.

They are six points behind the second-placed Jaguares (38)‚ who are facing the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Sharks (32) could still qualify for the play-offs by displacing the Rebels (35)‚ which explained why Van der Merwe has not given up hope.

“Every game is a must win.

"We have to win six out of six matches.

"Our motivation is August 4 and we have to win everything to get there‚” van der Merwe said.

The Stormers have had a forgettable 2018 season under Robbie Fleck but they still have a formidable pack that can destroy all and sundry on any given day.

The Sharks‚ especially their forwards‚ haven’t been a consistent bunch but when put under pressure‚ has unexpectedly delivered.

An example was their superb second half turnaround in their 31-24 home win against the Lions on the weekend where the forwards picked themselves up after a lethargic start.

Van der Merwe said the Stormers’ pack is fearsome but they can’t be stunted by what the Stormers bring to the forward table

“They’ve got nothing to lose so they’re going to throw everything at us.

"They’re going to throw the ball around and then there’s the physicality of the Stormers pack.

"They’ve got a big pack so the set-pieces are going to be vital for the match‚” van der Merwe said.

“We just have to stay process based.

"We can’t be ahead of ourselves and we just need to execute our plans.

"We know the Stormers have a very good pack.

"We just have to stick to our guns and do what we do best.”

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