Sharks scrumhalf Craig Davidson has cited the widespread belief that the Durbanites will be the South African side relegated from the Super 14 as reason for immense optimism.
Davidson, who impressed after recovering from injury late last year, told keo.co.za that the pressure has been entirely lifted.
“Out of all the South African sides, I think we are in the best position,” Davidson said. “Everyone thinks we’re out already, and that’s fine by us. We’re obviously determined to prove everyone wrong. We had a good start against the Leopards on Friday, and momentum is building.”
Davidson does not deny that the threat of relegation has added an urgency to the preparations.
“No-one speaks about relegation, but I think it’s fair to say that everyone is thinking about it. What we have to do is start off well. We want to beat the Chiefs at home in Durban, and then the Cheetahs before we go on tour. A couple of away wins and we’ll be right in their for a semi-final spot. We are not just going into this competition trying to survive. We want to do well and be in contention for a home sem-final.”
Davidson will miss the Sharks’ warm-up fixtures with the Bulls at Sun City on Saturday, but is in no danger of missing the Super 14 kick-off against the Chiefs.
“I have a bit of a stomach muscle problem at the moment. It’s a Grade 1 tear, just a niggle really, but it’s right on my hip so it’s very irritating. I’m obviously confident I’ll be fit the competition, hopefully I’ll be selected to play some part of the first game.”