Mtawarira: Sharks have enough depth to win title

Springboks and Sharks prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira has insisted that the Sharks have enough depth in their squad to challent for the Super Rugby title.

Questions have been raised about the Sharks depth in replacement forwards after they struggled to maintain dominance in the second half against the Lions when their replacement came on.

The Sharks beat the Lions 37-23 and still lead the Super Rugby standings but Director of rugby Jake White admitted that he made changes too early and Mtawarira felt it was something which would improve.

“We’ve got great depth and it’s something you’ll see more as the season progresses,” he said.

“We have guys who are not even playing that can contribute a lot to the team — like Keegan Daniel and Jacques Botes — so I think we’ve got depth.”

JP Pietersen also returned to duty on Tuesday after a spell in Japan.

Springbok prop Mtawarira said the season had gone according to plan with the Sharks having won three out of three with two bonus points.

“We’ve been working very hard every week and we’ve had the rewards so far,” he said.

“A lot of the guys have come of age and we’ve now got that experience on our side. You can hear on the field that everybody is talking and it’s really great to have that.”

The 28-year-old said White had made a definite impact in his first year in charge.

“Jake has a certain way he wants to play. I think he’s a very clever man and knows exactly what he’s doing.

“For us it’s been a good change and one we’re really enjoying. We’re playing a brand of rugby that everyone is liking.”

He also felt the pre-tournament favourites had not yet hit peak level.

“You can feel the confidence is growing. We’re not even playing to our full potential yet, so every player has to keep on working hard to get there.

“Jake is very good at getting that out of players, so I’m sure there’ll be further improvements as the season continues.”

The Sharks face 2011 champions, Australian side the Reds, in Durban this weekend.

Patrick Lambie is expected to be fit again after withdrawing at the last minute against the Lions due to illness.

However, they will be without Odwa Ndungane as the veteran winger has been granted compassionate leave.

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