John Plumtree is expecting an almighty forward battle when the Sharks travel to Hamilton this Saturday.
The two teams are at opposite ends of the Super Rugby spectrum with the Sharks having won their first two encounters and the Chiefs still without a victory. But Plumtree is aware of the challenge that lies ahead in this the first of four Australasian tour matches.
“They can hurt you from anywhere on the field,” Plumtree told rugbyheaven.co.nz. “If their forward pack fronts up and gains parity, or gets on top of us, then obviously it’s going to be a really big night defensively for us.
“We’ve got to get excited about our defence, you have to when you come to Hamilton. The pitch is going to be beautiful, it’s probably going to be a nice evening, and they’ll be really desperate, won’t they. They won’t want to go three down.”
Plumtree was pleased to hear that Chiefs No 8 Sione Lauaki was unlikely to start. The robust loose forward has caused Sharks defences plenty of trouble over the years.
“We always come up with strategies to look after him, but we don’t seem to manage it. Hit him high, hit him low, it doesn’t matter, he’s got a bit of a thing with the Sharks, and he realises that too and it gives him confidence.”