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Matt Stevens speaks ahead of the game


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 3 Feb 2015 at 14:24
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Courtesy of the Sharks and their website editor, Michael Marnewick, here’s what Sharks prop Matt Stevens had to say ahead of Thursday’s match against Toulon.

Weather

It’s a beautiful summer’s day. It will be a little bit chilly but that’s fine. It’s a welcome change to the Durban humidity.

Preparation

In terms of our preparation, we’ve prepared brilliantly. We have a fit team and we’re raring to go and looking forward to playing the best side in the Northern Hemisphere. It will be a tough challenge but one we are looking forward to.

Rugby style North vs South

There is a bigger focus on forward play in the north, but at the Sharks. We’re pretty keen on forward play too and how we’re going to play this game. We’re looking forward to this challenge, it’s good for us to test ourselves against a team like Toulon, filled with internationals, some of the best players in the world. I think they will be keen to toss the ball around as well, so we don’t expect it to be a game of north versus south.

Toulon have a number of players from the southern hemisphere, they like to play a bit, offload the ball. Yes, they have big, strong ball-carriers and they will be very physical, but they also have the kind of players who can play wide and some serious strike runners. I guess it’s going to be a great game in terms of two good teams meeting up against each other. It will be physical but it will also be about making the right decisions at the right time and looking to attack as well.

Pre-season progress.

The way we’ve trained is as close as possible to how intense a rugby game is, that’s where the coaches have got it right and the boys are as prepared as they can be to playing top flight rugby. With the guys being in such good shape, we’re very positive about where the team is right now.

Toulon game – preparation for the Cheetahs game next week

The Cheetahs are a team that like a driving game, which Toulon do too, they drive a lot of their lineout ball, so that will be a good test for us. What’s also been indicative of Cheetahs rugby over the past 15 years or so is their ability to play a bit looser and throw the ball around. That’s something Toulon do well. So playing Toulon, the best team on paper in the Northern hemisphere in terms of club rugby, playing them will give us the best preparation to playing anyone after this.



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