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“We’ll play to our strengths” – Bismarck


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Apr 2014 at 11:15
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

We caught up with Cell C Sharks skipper Bismarck du Plessis for a quick chat ahead of Saturday’s derby against the Toyota Cheetahs at Kings Park.

“They’ve leaked a lot of tries, but we’re not looking at that,” says Bismarck when asked about this week’s opponents. “The only thing for us is to play to our strengths and to stick to the things that have been working for us so far this season. We want to keep building – changing [our approach] each week wouldn’t be a good thing.” For the Sharks, that means there won’t be any deviation from the strongly territory-based game that has allowed them to suffocate most opponents by playing in the right parts of the field and taking points when on offer.

There will be some disruption this week, of course, in that injury has necessitated yet another a change in the number 10 jersey. “Tim Swiel is a very, very talented guy,” counters Bismarck, “he’s been playing regularly for the Vodacom Cup side and scoring the most points each week, so I don’t think there’ll be much disruption. It also gives us a good opportunity to assess the depth in our side. He’s trained with us all week and he’s going to do great.”

Turning to the other Sharks debutant, veteran winger Tonderai Chavanga, Bismarck has a fond memory to share. “Look, I’ve known Tonderai since the Free State days – he and I used to drive to practice together in my Volkswagen Beetle! It’s really nice to have him in the side – he brings some experience and he’s a really great professional, keeping himself so well in shape. It’s good to have him back and I hope we can get the ball into his hands so he can show us the pace he has.”

We spoke about Heinrich Brüssow’s Cheetahs return and the threat he poses at the breakdown. “I don’t think we focus too much on individuals, ” said Bismarck, “I mean, every team has a fetcher – we played against Derrick Minnie last week and Michael Hooper before that and they’re all hard on the ball. I don’t think we need to change what we do each week. Heinrich does give his teammates a lot of confidence – it lifts them when his name is read out on the team sheet – and it’s nice to see him back and free from injury. He’s been a great friend to me since we were at school together. ”

Commenting on the selection of Keegan Daniel ahead of Ryan Kankowski this weekend, Bismarck points out that “we have a tough block of seven games coming up now and you can’t afford to play the same starting fifteen every week. You have to give the other guys an opportunity and rest some players as well. Keegan is also great in the lineouts for us, so we won’t lose anything there, and he brings a lot of pace too which is good.”

And does Bismarck himself feel he might need a rest at some stage in the coming weeks? “I just want to play rugby, to be honest,” he chuckles, “but I’ll always go with what the coach wants to do!”

A big thanks to Bismarck and the Sharks and best of luck for the weekend.



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