Sharks full of confidence after Australasian tour

Shark centre Paul Jordaan says that the current Super Rugby leaders are brimming with confidence after their tour of Australia and New Zealand.

The Sharks lost 18-34 to the Highlanders at home before their tour of Australasia but then recovered on tour with a 16-22 victory over the Rebels in Melbourne.

The Brumbies then beat the Sharks 16-9 and with matches ahead against the Crusaders and the Blues the Sharks looked headed for a mid-season wobble.

However the Sharks pulled off one of the shocks of the season when they beat the Crusaders with 14 players on the field and then followed it up with a 23-29 victory over the Blues in Albany.

Jordaan says that after they beat the Crusaders and Blues in New Zealand they have been filled with confidence ahead of their final match before the June international break.

“We got a lot of confidence from the tour where we were the first South African side to win overseas this season,” he told Sapa.

“It’s not easy to beat sides in New Zealand and we’re definitely on a high and will look to improve on it this weekend.”

The Sharks host a resurgent Stormers team at Kings Park on Saturday and they have a five point lead at the top of the Super Rugby standings over the Waratahs who have a match in hand.

“The Crusaders win helped us grow a lot as a team and we definitely need to build on that, but the match against the Stormers will be a tough a game.”

Jordaan says that Director of Rugby Jake White has been a key figure in growing the group’s confidence.

“Jake tried to help us relax a lot and we did a lot of fun things on tour.

“I guess a happy team is a winning team, so we had a good time and were fortunate to come away with three out of four wins from the tour.”

The Sharks have three matches left in the regular season and with the Waratahs chasing hard they ideally need to continue their winning streak after the break in Bloemfontein against the Cheetahs and in Cape Town if they want to finish on top of the Super Rugby standing and maintain home advantage through the play-offs.

“I think we’ve set ourselves up nicely throughout the season,” Jordaan said.

“We just need to stay composed and work harder. If all goes well, we’ll hopefully keep our spot.”

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