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Sharks set try-scoring goal for 2019

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Saturday, February 9, 2019    Getty Images

Central to his plan is a desire to play more attacking rugby and to achieve that he has set the side a goal of four tries a game. Once the side in South Africa with the best reputation for sustained attacking play, the Sharks had been guilty of moving away from that style.

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He has added David Williams to his coaching group. Williams was regarded as the inspiration for the attacking rugby the Southern Kings showed in the latter stages of their last season of Super Rugby in 2017 when beating both the Sharks and Bulls.

It was not only the attacking ability the Kings showed, but also their transition from defence to attack that caught du Preez's eye. He asked Williams to create the same mindset among his squad.

Reports are that Williams has wasted no time and his improvements have been apparent during the side's warm-up games.

"I think everyone would have seen it in the game against the Lions. Although we lost that game, we had a least four or five more trying scoring opportunities and I was encouraged by how much we created.
"What he [Williams] has brought is a lot of clarity. Everyone knows what their role is. As I say, we could have scored more tries, and that is what the aim will be this season, to score four tries in every game," he said.

Du Preez's pre-season approach was to give every player involved in the build-up a game as reward for the hard work put in during the season's preparation.

A comparative lack of injury problems during the pre-season has been an added bonus.

"We pretty much have everyone on strength except for Philip van der Walt, who is out with a contusion picked up in Japan and will probably be ready to play in four weeks or so. JL (Jean-Luc de Preez) is also out for about two months," he said.

The Sharks open their campaign against the Sunwolves in Singapore at the weekend.