Keegan Daniel frustrated by Sharks' lack of bite
Sharks loose-forward Keegan Daniel says the side was left frustrated by their Super Rugby draw with the Waratahs last weekend, but are ready to claim a first win of the season at home to Japan's Sunwolves on Saturday.
The Sharks dominated territory and possession against the Australian side, but errors, including one from Daniel when he tried to take a quick lineout to himself but knocked on, cost the Durban-based side victory as they drew 24-24.
"In any situation, when you have a team on the ropes and you don't put them away, it is frustrating," Daniel told the team's official website.
"We had so many opportunities but just didn't convert them. But it is still early in the competition and we've been back at the grindstone this week preparing for the Sunwolves."
Daniel defended the team's actions, including his own, saying they are trying to take a positive approach to the game.
"I don't think it's over-eagerness, you don't want to curb anyone's enthusiasm or creativity. The margins are minuscule between being a hero and being a villain.
"As long as the guys are trying something new or exciting, if they're willing to be creative, eventually it's going to pay off.
"We're not far off, it's not like we're tossing games away, I think we're pretty much on the right track. We just need one or two things to click and we'll convert those opportunities," he said.
Having recorded a win and a draw from their opening two games of the campaign, defeat at home to the injury-hit Sunwolves would be disastrous for the team, and this threat adds pressure to the occasion.
"Pressure is why we play this game, those make or break moments in a game are the attraction and why we want to be here, we enjoy living on the edge," Daniel said.
"Ultimately it is for the guys who have been around to carry the youngsters and it's up to us to absorb that pressure as much as possible. Although we have one or two newbies, I wouldn't call the younger players in our team 'youngsters', they've been around now for a bit and we have a fairly settled squad."
Daniel says the Sunwolves, who have only won three of their 32 Super Rugby matches and lost both games this campaign so far, do have the ability to spring a surprise though.
"They have had some horrific injury problems and that depletion really hurts your squad. [But] the foreigners in their team have Super Rugby experience and add massive value to the Sunwolves," he said.
"They started the competition fairly well before slipping up in their second game. They're a team that can rock up any weekend and cause an upset; we aren't taking this game lightly."
Sharks: Sharks - 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Wian Vosloo, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha(c), 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Akker van der Merwe/Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe/Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.