The Sharks Will Need To Up Their Defence Against Cheetahs

(Photo Credit: Jorina Raath/Speedshots.co.za)

Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt has nothing but praise for the team, not only for their efforts in securing a semi-final position but in the way the team has responded to the challenges set.

Defensively, the Cell C Sharks know that they will have to produce a top-class effort in this weekend’s semi-final against a team that loves to spread the ball around. Everitt acknowledged that defence is a crucial part of the game.

“The Cheetahs are a team that likes to keep the ball in hand, but we looked after them pretty well in Durban and we have to continue to work really hard on our defence, otherwise we’re going to be in for a long day. We’ve been good in that department and it’s something we can fix.”

It has been an interesting campaign and a tough competition, with the top four teams all winning four of their six matches. For Everitt and the Cell C Sharks, determination and attitude have been all-important.

“Qualifying for the semis after where we were three or four weeks ago is a credit to the fight in this team. We’ve taken each of the last three games as knock-outs and come Saturday, we will be up for the game.

“We forget we have some youngsters in this team, some teenagers and Evan Roos who made his debut against the Lions have only recently turned 19. But I am also really proud of the senior players who have stood up.

Everitt also had words of praise for the man of the match performance from Aphelele Fassi who showed how dangerous he can be on the attack, finding space or creating it.

“I’m very pleased for Aphelele, he’s worked hard on his game. He probably hasn’t had as much opportunity from the back in the Currie Cup but this game showed what he’s about, the class he possesses. He was outstanding from the back and on his counter-attack against the Bulls and we look forward to developing him into an international class fullback; I don’t think it’s going to be too long before he gets higher honours.”

“Our theme this campaign was growth and I think the youngsters have grown so that’s a goal we’ve achieved.”