Desperate Sharks eye inconsistent Blues
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Getty Images
That leaves both sides with points to prove at Eden Park.
Sharks halfback Louis Schreuder told sarugbymag.co.za that the weekend's 14-46 loss to the Rebels in Melbourne had exposed some defensive issues while also highlighting the Sharks' failure to find any cohesion with the ball in hand.
Schreuder said: "We're very disappointed coming off two losses in Australia. Obviously, we would have targeted the first two games to get a few points out of that, and the result against the Rebels especially hurt because we really backed ourselves to respond after the loss to the Brumbies the week before.
"The mood is a bit down, but we have to move on quickly because we're now facing a good Blues team.
"We need to sharpen up on our basics and fundamentals, and execute the game plan we've been working on. We have to trust our systems and to take ownership of the unforced errors we've been making, which you just can't afford at this level.
"We know we have to cut out those mistakes, especially in our own half and with ball in hand.
"The Blues are an unpredictable side, but they have a big running game like a lot of the New Zealand teams," he said.
The Blues will go into the game without key midfield back Sonny Bill Williams who has a broken wrist. However, they have strength in reserve with TJ Faiane or George Moala capable of stepping up.
"I think they were quite unlucky in the first couple of matches that they lost by narrow margins, and there's no doubt that they're a quality team who are very dangerous with ball in hand," Schreuder said.
"So we will have to front up to that and rise to the challenge on defence.
"Our main focus this weekend is to get the accuracy and execution into our game, and to play in the right areas of the field, then I think we will get good rewards for that.
"This is make or break for us, we need to start winning the big games and it has to begin this Saturday. This is a crucial match for us, and we have to be realistic if we want to make the playoffs. We need to start building some points now," he said.
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