Hollywoodbets Sharks Targets Challenge Cup

Challenge Cup campaign against Zebre - 07 April

Hollywoodbets Sharks coach John Plumtree believes his side’s 22-12 URC victory over Ulster at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Saturday is a step in the right direction as the team eyes Challenge Cup success this season.

Hollywoodbets Sharks Coach John Plumtree (Pic – INPHO/Steve Haag Sports/Felix Dlanga)

With the result on the weekend being just the side’s second win of the competition, Plumtree was pleased at the way his charges delivered on the day.

“’I’m just happy for the players,” Plumtree remarked. “It’s been pretty frustrating at times for a lot of people here, including staff. So it’s nice to be able to come in on Monday with a sense of work-ons and not having to prep the team up emotionally.

“I’ve really encouraged the leaders in the team to step up and own the team and really drag the rest of the players with them, so I was very happy that they did that. The boys have done a great job, particularly in the pack, and making those areas of our game a lot better.”

With the URC playoffs now out of reach, the Sharks’ last chance of securing Champions Cup rugby next season depends on winning the EPCR (Challenge Cup).

With that in mind, Plum believes their display against Ulster was just the type of performance needed to shake off the rust and build belief in the squad.

“That’s what these first two games are all about; this one and Edinburgh, building up to those EPCR games, getting that cohesion that we need.

“This game gives us a lot of confidence. We’ve targeted four games with another (URC v Edinburgh) next week here in Durban and then we’ve got Zebre in a (EPCR) game here that we really want to do well in. Then we want to get a quarterfinal so we can get a crowd before we head overseas.”

They resume their Challenge Cup campaign against Zebre in the round of 16 match on 07 April.

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