With the Cell C Sharks heading for their Super Rugby semi final clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch, Sharks Director of rugby Jake White believes history as no meaning in the match.
The Sharks are the only South African franchise that is still in contention to lift the trophy after beating the Highlanders last weekend in Durban.
Jake White was adamant in his view on the matter according to SkySports, “It’s knockout rugby and it’s a whole new game but it’s meaningless what’s happened before and how many All Blacks they have, and what the history books say.”
Jake had some setbacks before the semi final with Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira unavailable due to a neck injury. This left the door open in recent weeks for Thomas Du Toit and Dale Chadwick who has proven that they are ready to replace the “Beast”
“Thomas was outstanding at the weekend, we have him and Dale,” White told the club’s official website. “With Beast only 50-50, we’ve stuck with Thomas and Dale, and that’s not too bad considering how they performed.”
With the injury to Anton Bresler from last week, Marco Wentzel made the trip to New Zeeland to cover for him.
History will show that South African team struggle to win in Christchurch, but two months ago the Cell C Sharks showed that they can win in the city and even do so with 14 men. This was a win that shocked the people of New Zeeland one should be assured that the boy from Crusaders will be prepared for the task ahead.
Jake White believes the win earlier is one point of history that do give his players the believe, “We know if we play well enough we can beat the Crusaders because we’ve done it before,” he added. “It’s knockout rugby and it’s a whole new game but it’s meaningless what’s happened before and how many All Blacks they have, and what the history books say. I’m a big believer that this group of players can beat anybody, and we’ve beaten both the Crusaders and Waratahs already this season”.
“If we play well, we can get a win. The Highlanders flew from the other side of the world and nearly beat us, and they finished sixth and we were third. It’s going to happen at some stage that a team that finishes outside the top two will go on to win the competition.”
White believes the great win from behind last week has given his players the best possible preparation for Christchurch, “That’s true knockout rugby,” said White. “I was proud of the boys because other teams might have lost from that position. I think we played some of our best rugby in those last 20 minutes.
“When we get a win like we did over the Stormers, and then fought back to beat the Highlanders, it’s a great way to take momentum into the semi-finals. It’s a great lesson in how tough the knockout stage is.”
One always looks at history but one thing is for sure, history is their so that those who want to can change it for ever.