There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves and you will see a strong game from the guys on Sunday.
DURBAN – One of the toughest jobs in rugby is coaching scrums and line-outs when every week you are getting different pieces to fit into your jigsaw puzzle.
Ask Etienne Fynn of the Sharks, who has the unenviable task of making that puzzle fit each week with a different set of players. If the set-pieces are to be effective, it is all about synergy…
“You don’t often have that luxury in these difficult times,” says Fynn, who has the job of putting back together the Sharks set-piece that crumbled against the Lions last week.
On Sunday the Sharks visit the Cheetahs and if they are to bounce back from that heavy defeat at Ellis Park, the first step is to re-establish the forward momentum that was the foundation when the Sharks beat the Bulls a fortnight ago, but absent at the weekend.
It is not a co-incidence that four members of the Sharks’ tight five that prevailed against the Bulls were unavailable for various reasons (including Covid-19 isolation) for the Lions match.
The Sharks were tested as a squad on Monday morning, with the results only available last night, so Fynn can only begin the repair work today when he knows which players are available.
The Sharks will also train on Christmas Day and then leave for Bloemfontein on Boxing Day, to play on the 27th.
The only first-choice player he knows for certain cannot play is line-out specialist Hyron Andrews, who is away on family bereavement leave.
“These are incredibly difficult times but everyone is in the same boat, and it has taught us to be fluid,” the former Sharks and Springbok tighthead said. “You have to simplify the process so that it is easier for guys that are coming in.
“To not have the same guys from game to game is the story of the season for a lot of the teams — often it comes down to which team adjusts better on the day,” Fynn said. “Last week that was the Lions … not us, and we took a bit of strain.”
Fynn says that the Sharks do not have the luxury of moping too much about their setback upfront last week.
“You just have to embrace what you have got and celebrate that you are playing — you have got to move on quickly,” he said. “We can bounce back on Sunday against the Cheetahs. We have top class players in our ranks, and good coaches, and we have shown that we can rise to challenges.
“We have closed the chapter against the Lions. There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves and you will see a strong game from the guys on Sunday,” Fynn promised. “You don’t have to tell these players what has to be done, they know … They want to do it for each other.”