Sharks seek X-factor

AJ Venter believes the Sharks are missing that extra something that separates the great teams from the rest.

The Sharks led 20-6 against the champion Crusaders last weekend, but were pipped 22-20 after a late drop goal from Dan Carter. Venter, whose dropped pass cost the Sharks a try early in the match, was frustrated by the result.

â€?Like Tony [Brown] said to me over a beer after the game, it is a matter of getting that winning habit, that X factor that gives you that little bit more as a team to win games like that,” Venter told the Sharks website.

“The feeling I had after the Crusaders game is hard to describe: there was a mixture of anger, disappointment, frustration and excitement. If we can lead the mighty Crusaders with five minutes to go in New Zealand then I am very excited about the rest of the tour. They are the strongest side we will play away from home and we came so close.”

Venter praised the youngsters in the Sharks side, who played their first major match overseas.

“Some of the guys in the ‘Saders side have played more Tests than our boys have played Super Rugby and they did well,” said Venter. “Again our line-outs were not great but it’s something we’ve worked hard at this week.â€?

Meanwhile, the Sharks have named their side for the Sydney clash. The injury to Tony Brown sees Bradley Barritt take over at flyhalf, while hooker Bismarck du Plessis comes in for Skipper Badenhorst and Danie Saayman replaces Deon Carstens at loosehead prop.

Sharks team to play Waratahs:

15. Percy Montgomery, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Brent Russell, 10. Bradley Barritt, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Jacques Botes, 7. AJ Venter (c), 6. Solly Tyibilika, 5. Albert van den Berg, 4. Johann Muller, 3. Brendon Botha, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Danie Saayman
Subs: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Deon Carstens, 18. Johan Ackermann, 19. Braam Immelman, 20. Sandile Nxumalo, 21. Gcobani Bobo, 22. Dusty Noble