Sithembiso Dindi – The Witness
Sharks assistant coach David Williams believes the Stormers are still a serious threat to the Durban-based franchise’s current period of success despite the Cape outfit missing a dangerous trio.
The table-topping Sharks are set to welcome the Stormers in a Super Rugby fixture at Kings Park this Saturday in what promises to be a mouth-watering South African derby.
Kick-off in Durban is set for 15:05.
Williams’ men are currently riding a wave of success, with five victories out of a possible six in this Super Rugby season.
At the weekend, they claimed a solid 33-19 win over the Jaguares to top both the SA Conference and overall Super Rugby log.
For the important meeting this week, the Stormers will be without valuable senior players Bongi Mbonambi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi, who are all out with injury.
Kolisi suffered a Grade 3 medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear at the beginning of last month and was reportedly to spend about six to eight weeks on the sidelines.
But attack coach Williams doesn’t believe the injuries make the John Dobson-coached Stormers, who have won four of their five matches, less dangerous this week. “I think the DNA of their team is pretty much the same, whoever steps in (will do the job),” said Williams.
“Obviously, your top, top players have an influence on the game whenever they play, but they will bring a quality squad but we will be definitely up for the challenge.”
The Stormers enjoyed a bye this past weekend but the Sharks clash will be quite important for them as they are looking to return to winning ways.
The last time they were in action was a fortnight ago when they went down to the Blues by 33-14 in Cape Town.
“Each game is very individual. What we’ve done well is we have found a point of pressure within any game to get the result,” said Williams.
“Maybe sticking with the lineout drive or holding the ball or defending and kicking the ball away. I think in this coming game we have to find the point of pressure early, what they have come to do and exploit that,” he said.
Williams has also credited the amazing teamwork that has taken the Sharks to the top of the standings.
“Everyone has added massive value. We spoke a lot about the small margins and winning those moments, from the quality of the kick to the regaining of the kick,” he said.
“We won a lot of those that led to a big performance, we’ve been building on those and we are celebrating what we did well,” he added.