Kankowski: Super Rugby is not won in February

Sharks loose forward Ryan Kankowski has warned that poor results at the start of the Super Rugby season can have a huge impact on a team’s play off status but also says the tournament is not won in February.

Kankowski has just returned to Durban from a stint in Japan and will face a selection battle getting into the team having missed the first two Super Rugby rounds.

The Sharks made a suprisingly slow start to the season by losing to the Cheetahs but they have at least returned to winning ways having beaten the Lions on the weekend.

This weekend the Sharks must travel to Pretoria to face a Bulls team that will be hurting after losing to the Stormers and the Hurricanes.

“You never want to go into Super Rugby losing the first few games,” said Kankowski, who has only just returned from a club rugby stint in Japan.

“As everybody knows, you can’t win Super Rugby in the first few rounds but you can lose it.”

The 29-year-old Springbok number eight is expecting a backlash from the Bulls when the two South African powerhouses clash at Loftus Versfeld this weekend.

“They will be anxious to start winning soon, especially against SA teams because winning the conference has such big advantages.

“We are expecting a very tough game against them.”

Kankowski has been plying his trade in Japan for the past few months, along with the quartet of Jean Deysel, JP Pietersen and Frans Steyn –the latter pair still having yet to return.

While he was away, the Sharks have undergone plenty of changes with a new director of rugby and, on the field, some further competition too.

Players like Renaldo Bothma and Jean Deysel have signed, but Kankowski has welcomed the competition.

“Of course competition is always a good thing.”

“We have Renaldo, myself, Marcell, Tera, Jean, Willem, Khaya, Du Preez brothers.

“There are plenty of very good players raising each others game because if you have one bad game, the next guy is in.”

The clash against the Bulls takes place on Saturday.

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