Huge Week Beckons – Featured Durban Blog

Huge Week Beckons:

Whilst there is no denying that the Sunwolves gave the Cell C Sharks a tough run for our money, the challenge posed by the Blues at JONSSON KINGS PARK this Saturday is likely to be much greater.

The Blues came agonisingly close to upsetting the reigning champions Crusaders – Vodacom Super Rugby’s most successful side in the history of the competition – in the opening round of the competition, and under a new coaching team, look more structured and polished.

Reflecting on the first-round win over the Sunwolves, Cell C Sharks attack coach David Williams gives the team the thumbs’ up for a job well done.

“It was the outcome we wanted: five points, a few tries scored – the driving maul tries scored by the forwards especially were fantastic – we went with a clear plan to be aggressive and dominant, taking into account the humidity and the early stage of the season, and we got exactly what we wanted out of the game.”

He admits that besides a couple of tries scored by the pack, “The platform the forwards gave us to play off was fantastic. The guys have worked rally hard and were rewarded,” he adds.

“I think people sometimes underestimate the Sunwolves, they come with massive intent and they have good processes in place, possibly still needing to build talent-wise, but as far as attitude goes, there is no faulting that, they’re a tough team to play against.”

The Blues came within a couple of missed conversions of beating the Crusaders and that is a warning the coaching staff are heeding. “We’ve watched that game and we’re busy putting a plan together. Personnel-wise, they’re a great team. But we have seen some things that we can possibly exploit and playing in front of our home crowd gives the guys an extra 10%

“The first game at home is going to be fantastic.”

Being at home and playing a New Zealand side is a challenge the Cell C Sharks team embrace with enthusiasm. What better rugby test is there? “Up against a Kiwi side guarantees that the tempo will be up there,” he promises.

David Williams’ philosophy of attack is not too different to what we’ve come to know (and love) from the Cell C Sharks: Create opportunities and strike.

“Watching The Sharks as a fan from afar and looking at their mindset, it’s that bravery with the ball that I appreciate,” he explains. “I love a team that sees opportunities to be brave on attack. I always temper that with not being stupid with the ball. Perhaps with the Sunwolves the execution wasn’t quite there, but the bravery and mindset to create something was.”

So how do you go about coaching that creativity, turning nothing into something?

“It’s all about seeing pictures (in your mind’s eye) and the communication of what you see in front of you; whether you’re five metres from your line or on the halfway line. We try to create a lot of pictures.

“The biggest thing though is confidence: if you make the players confident, being the great players that they are, they will have a crack and hopefully get some rewards.”

As a relative newcomer to the coaching staff, he believes he’s onto a good thing. As is the team.

“With the depth we have in this squad and the individuals who can have a massive influence on the game, things are very exciting.”

The post Huge Week Beckons appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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