Sharks lock Johann Muller has warned his team-mates against complacency against the Lions in the opening Absa Currie Cup match on Friday.
The Sharks are among the favourites for the title, while the Lions are a team in transition following the axing of coach Frans Ludeke. Both teams are missing several players on national duty with the Springboks and Baby Boks.
“The Lions are always good in the Currie Cup, and despite a poor Super 14 they will be keen to prove the critics wrong,” Muller told keo.co.za.
Muller, who only rejoined the Sharks training sessions on Monday after a stint with the Jake White’s Boks, says a similar gameplan to that which worked in the Super 14 will be employed.
“If we can dominate with our forwards, we have a potent backline that can cause trouble for any side in this competition.” And key to getting the ball to the speedsters will be the halfback pairing of Ruan Pienaar – who also rejoined the Sharks this week – and No 10 Butch James.
And in the build-up, coach Dick Muir has emphasised the need to control the things they can control and the rest will take care of itself.
“It is about us, not them. we want to do the basics well and secure good first phase ball from scrums, lineouts and kick-offs and then we can build some momentum.”
Muller says the focus is completely on the Lions game and no further. “I don’t even know who we are playing in our second game.”
By Andrew Hollely