Sithembiso Dindi – The Witness
With the Sharks’ backline functioning almost like a well-oiled machine, assistant coach David Williams believes their forward pack has also gone through a massive growth over the past five weeks and can match anyone now in Super Rugby.
After a successful Australasian tour, which saw the Durbanites come back with an impressive three-out-of-four wins, the Sharks are back home and will host the Jaguares at Kings Park on Saturday at 15:05.
The Argentinians, who were finalists last season, will likely provide a massive test for Williams’ men, especially up front.
While the Sharks are still trying to sort out their front row, which has a lot of new faces, the Jaguares have probably the best pack in the competition, made up of Argentina’s national team players who are used to tough Test matches.
However, Williams is confident that the Sharks’ “under-estimated” forward pack will match the strong and dangerous forward pack of the Jaguares this weekend.
“From the forwards perspective, the growth in our team has been outstanding through the tour and I think they will match anyone,” said Williams.
“People mustn’t underestimate what these guys can bring.
“I think the energy they get in seeing what the backs can do will drive them on to that performance. I think it will be a great contest.”
Williams believes the Sharks will take a lot of confidence from their successful tour.
“I think as a whole group it was an exciting tour and also the team bonding together and the performance we delivered, which is what this team is all about,” he said.
“The results were a bonus, but the performance we delivered and the way we want to play has been fantastic.”
Williams also took some time to heap praise on the “selfless and energetic” Madosh Tambwe who has managed to quickly find his feet in Durban.
The 22-year-old, DR Congo-born player is one of nine signed by the Sharks late last year as they were rebuilding the team for this year’s Super Rugby. The electric wing joined from the Lions where he started his rugby career in the junior ranks five years earlier.
Though he missed the clash against the Reds at the weekend, as S’bu Nkosi bounced back to the starting line-up after injury, Tambwe earned two starts on tour before that and performed exceptionally well.
“Joining us from the Lions, he has some good ideas and he is an energy ball on the field.
“I think there’s a great relationship in the back three because whoever is playing gets the support of the other guys,” said Tambwe.
“He has been outstanding with good involvements in games. The most thing we love about him is his energy and his willingness to work for the team.”