Home Sport SA teams surfing URC wave after turning tide, says Sharks skipper

SA teams surfing URC wave after turning tide, says Sharks skipper

86

With two rounds to go in the 16-team competition, the Stormers are second, the Sharks fourth and the Bulls are eighth, with the Lions trailing in 12th, but late last year the SA teams were languishing in the bottom half of the table.

Thomas du Toit of the Sharks during the United Rugby Championship 2021/22 match against Llanelli Scarlets at Kings Park in Durban on March 11, 2022. Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

DURBAN – As the United Rugby Championship winds down to the quarter-finals, the points table looks decidedly rosier for the South African teams compared to the opening stages, and Sharks captain Thomas du Toit says this is because they have learned how to give the overseas teams a dose of their own medicine.

With two rounds to go in the 16-team competition, the Stormers are second, the Sharks fourth and the Bulls are eighth, with the Lions trailing in 12th, but late last year the SA teams were languishing in the bottom half of the table.

“I think most of the SA teams felt like they had been given a punch in the face when we started out in the URC,” the colourful Du Toit said.

“We did not know what to expect, but now that we have sussed things out it seems that most of the teams have turned the tide, and we did that by sticking to our guns.

“We have been doing what we as South Africans do well, and they (the overseas teams) have to deal with that!”

And the Welsh, Italians, Scots and Irish have not dealt with it as well as they would have liked – after 20 matches in South Africa there have been just two overseas wins -Edinburgh beat the Sharks in terrible conditions and last week the Lions were pipped by Connacht.

The latter team is now in Durban for Saturday’s match against the Sharks; Leinster travel down the coast to the Stormers; the Lions host Benetton and the Bulls have the Glasgow Warriors.

“Of the Irish teams, Munster, Ulster and Leinster probably have very similar tactics,” Du Toit said of the powerful Irish challenge.

“Those three attack and defend with similar structures, whereas Connacht are a bit freer in the way they play.

“The other Irish teams have more structure than Connacht, but Connacht are one of the most physical sides in the competition.

“All the Irish sides are all very well prepared and coached.”

Previous articleNtando Duma pulls out all the stops for Sbahle’s Kids’ Choice award celebration
Next articleMoscow court orders seizure of $7 million in Google’s Russian funds, property