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Sharks french connection looks ahead to Super Rugby Final

Photosport

sharksrugby.co.za     02 Aug 2012     Photosport

This is his second stint with The Shark and he will be looking to add the Super Rugby trophy to the Currie Cup he won with The Sharks in 2008. The classy player that he is, he’s added an air of practicality and pragmatism to his French flair, never more so than against the Stormers last weekend when his two drop-goals provided The Sharks with important gains in that semi-final match.

His performance also saw him awarded the Man of the Match award which elicited a, “It is a bonus for me to be here with The Sharks, I try my best every game and appreciate every moment of my time with them. We’ve taken a lot of confidence out of recent results, I’m happy! The forwards worked well to put me in a good position for the drop-goals, it was something we had spoken about, taking our opportunities to score points because, in a semi-final, every point is a bonus.”

He admits that he has enjoyed this season, when The Sharks have worked really hard to get into the position they are in now – a final. “We had some setbacks earlier on in the season, but everyone has come back stronger with a lot of purpose and we’ve taken confidence out of our results, we’ve worked really hard.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, he explains that like the Stormers game, The Sharks will be hoping to score whenever the opportunity presents itself. In finals rugby, you can win by 20 points or one point, it doesn’t matter. But what does matter is scoring points.

“Playing in finals and semi-finals are really big games and you have to put points on the board when you can, so when the opportunity comes, I try to take it, and that’s what the drop-goals were all about against the Stormers,” he explains. “We knew we had to score points whenever we were in striking distance, and we did achieve that.”

What do you make of the Chiefs team in terms of their strengths and threats and the fact that they are the NZ Conference winners?

He adds that, “The Chiefs are a quality team with some really good players, they won the New Zealand Conference which is outstanding, they won everywhere, at home and on the road, scoring a lot of bonus points over the course of the pool stages of the tournament, so it’s going to be difficult, a massive final. We need to offer excellent defence and take our chances to put points on the board when we can.”

The big name player in the Chiefs team is Sonny Bill Williams who needs little introduction.

“He’s an important player in their team, a real play-maker who will be a big player for them on the weekend. We will need to put pressure on him, we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on him.”

With this being his last game for The Sharks before he heads back to France he admits that his time in Durban has been very special.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with The Sharks, I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to play for them, and now that we’re in the final, I will do everything in my ability to help them win.

“Winning this competition would be a great reward for all the hard work we’ve put in this season. I’ve enjoyed participating in the competition very much, with the kind of players in The Sharks team. I would love to win!”