The Lions, currently in second place on the log from their first two outings, present a formidable challenge. They come to Durban having accrued maximum points after two rounds, having scored the most number of points in the competition, showing just how lethal they are on attack.
Discipline on defence, making one-on-one tackles and maintaining the defensive structure for the full 80 minutes, is a major theme for the Sharks.
In particular, Gold will be hoping there are no defensive lapses like what he calls, “that 12 minute period of madness when we conceded three tries against EP.”
He admits this was less than ideal and gave the visitors an opportunity to come back into the game.
“That’s definitely not the standard we wanted from a defensive point of view. The Kings are a good team, they’re better than a lot of people give them credit for and we really pride ourselves on not having to concede four tries, especially three of them in seven minutes. Granted, we were a man down but that’s not an excuse.
“I don’t think we’ve played for the full 80 minutes this season, there have been some very good passages of play but it’s not going to be good enough to play in fits and starts against a team like the Lions. If you fall asleep for any period of time, they’re going to hurt you.”
“This is a real danger against a side, like the Lions, that places a huge emphasis on attacking prowess.”
Reflecting on last week’s bonus point win, Gold however is very happy with the way they fought back and focused on their performance.
“I have to compliment the character of the guys to have stuck in there in a tough contest.”
Good news is that Paul Jordaan came out of the Kings’ game unscathed. “I’m very happy with the way he came through and I’m very excited for him.”
Gold confirmed Jean Deysel may not make this weekend’s match.
“He’s struggling, he took a bad knock to the shoulder and while it doesn’t appear to be too serious, he might not recover in time.” – African News Agency (ANA)
Original source: Sharks can’t fall asleep - Gold