Du Preez knows Sharks have to start living up to their talent

Sharks coach Robert du Preez.
Sharks coach Robert du Preez.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

The weight of Super Rugby playoff failure history hangs heavily over the Sharks and this is something their coach Robert du Preez fully understands.

With the Sharks showing a fair bit of stability in terms of player and coaching recruitment during the off-season‚ Du Preez said they don’t have an excuse for not doing well in the tournament this year.

Their coaching staff was bolstered by the inclusion of David Williams as their attack coach.

Du Preez said Williams’s inclusion will help them clear out the rough edges of their offload game that either came off spectacularly or failed them last season.

Du Preez also said they needed to be more consistent in terms of results this year.

“With the talent that we have‚ we’d be running out of excuses. We have to do it this year‚” he said.

“Inconsistency was a problem last year and that’s why we brought in a guy like David Williams and he’s an expert on attack. We saw some flashes of brilliance but we didn’t have that ongoing consistency or continuity.

“We created so many linebreaks and we couldn’t finish them. That’s what David’s been spending a lot of time on. The makings are all there for a great season.”

Du Preez also said he’ll rotate his squad much better this season as compared to last year.

With no international break this year because of the World Cup‚ squad usage has to be very good and byes have to be used strategically.

“We didn’t rotate as much as we should have last year. We’ve got such a strong squad and we shouldn’t be scared to rotate after three games.

“Look at the talent we have at scrumhalf but there’ll be a fair bit of rotation. Guys‚ though‚ must slot in and perform‚” Du Preez said.

A number of Sharks players had short overseas stints‚ but Springbok loose-forward Jean-luc du Preez will miss a fair chunk of Super Rugby through a groin injury he sustained while playing for the Sale Sharks.

Du Preez will be out for three months but the coach said the players who went overseas have come back with lessons that’ll help the team.

“I’d think probably that’s a little bit conservative but it’s better we have him at 100 percent and get him back for the last stint of rugby‚” Du Preez said.

“He tore his adductor muscle off the bone but it’s not as bad as we initially thought. It’s exactly the same injury that Dan du Preez had a couple of years ago.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience for the players who have gone overseas recently. They had a fantastic time and they bring back new ideas.

“It’s good for us as coaches and the players around them. They make new friends‚ they’re exposed to a different lifestyle and different coaching methods.”

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.