Sharks wary of facing a backlash from Stormers

Sharks coach Hugh Reece-Edwards has admitted that they are wary of a backlash from the Stormers after their loss to the Cheetahs at the weekend.

Reece-Edwards says that the next three weeks will have a huge impact of the Sharks season starting with the Stormers at Newlands this wekeend.

“If we look at our next three games, we play the Stormers who have to win, the Cheetahs who are on a really good roll at the moment and then the Chiefs in New Zealand and we have to pick up as many points as we can and we have to win at home (against the Cheetahs), that’s a no-brainer,” said Reece-Edwards on the Sharks site.

“So this match is a vital one and although we have a number of injuries, we thankfully do have players intact.”

In particular Reece-Edwards is concerned about this weekend’s match as last year’s South African Conference winners look to be on the edge of missing the play-offs.

“It’s massive for the Stormers, they are under the cosh and have to win, and perhaps they can afford one loss, but certainly no more. “

“We have no illusions about the enormity of the game, they’ll come out with everything they’ve got.”

The Sharks will however start the match full of confidence after their rare victory over the Crusaders last weekend.

“The previous stat was two wins in 16 outings, so it was a game we had to win,” he adds.

“It was a home win and looking to where we want to go in this competition, it was a vital win for us. We were taught a lesson in the game against the Brumbies and we couldn’t have that again, this side is good enough to go a long way. “

“To prove that to themselves, the players needed to come out and perform and certainly in the second half we did. “

“It was winning a home game against one of the sides that will probably end up in the top six, we now play another team that should end up in the top 6 (the Stormers), albeit they haven’t started off as well as they would have liked. “

“It meant it was a vital win, a win we don’t normally get and mentally it was massive. “

“Whichever way you look at it, it was a great result for us.”

Reece-Edwards said that the Sharks took a lot of self-belief out of the victory over the Crusaders especially the younger players.

“When the final whistle went and we saw the celebrations by the players, that showed just how much the win meant to them all, a huge amount,” said Reece-Edwards.

“The youngsters who haven’t played the Crusaders before realise what they’ve achieved and only a handful of players had beaten them before, and that was back in 2007. “

“So for the majority of the players, this was a feat new to them and getting that sort of gain is a huge thing and for these players, a tremendous result.”

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