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Sherratt lays down the challenge ahead of Shark attack

First Team News | 16th May 2024

Matt Sherratt has challenged Cardiff to be resilient and bold against Hollywoodbet Sharks on Saturday.

The Blue and Blacks travel to Kings Park following a frustrating defeat to Emirates Lions in Johannesburg. 

But they have won their previous two encounters against the Sharks - a 23-17 victory at the Arms Park in 2021 and a 30-0 triumph in Durban last season.

When asked about the club’s record against the Sharks, Sherratt said: “Well, let's hope we stay unbeaten against the Sharks as well. It's always somewhere we enjoy coming, actually. In Durban, it's sea level, it's a great stadium and probably two teams that are fairly similar in terms of their style of play as well. 

“They have pretty good kick return and transition. It's always a team that we enjoy playing against.”

Sherratt expects a formidable challenge but he believes the encounter will display who can handle the pressure and the squad continue to develop. 

And two things are non-negotiable in performance - showing character and playing the Cardiff way. 

“It'll be interesting to see how they select obviously because they've had Benetton, then they were in London against Clermont and Benetton last Saturday. They've got us Saturday night and they've got the Challenge Cup final in London on Friday. 

“So I'm sure they'll mix their squad up a little bit but it's well known here in South Africa, the Sharks have got quite a deep squad. But regardless of who they pick, there'll be a formidable challenge because they've got quality throughout.

“The biggest thing for me is a learning curve in terms of how the squad and individuals in the squad perform under a little bit of pressure. 

“We've got one nine here at the moment and we will have Tinus de Beer covering covering nine. So it's been a challenge and then you add on top of that the weather, the altitude, the travel, it's a fantastic opportunity to learn who's resilient. 

“When you come out here, you've got every excuse. You can talk about travel, you can talk about altitude, but the best teams and the best players, they get through that. 

“What I'm keen not to happen is that the season just peters out. So I spoke to the players a couple of weeks ago about that there's two impressions that people remember most. It's your first impression and last impression.

“I think we've made some really good first impressions this season. What we don't want to do is for the last couple of games, fall off that. 

“Results will take care of themselves. It's just making sure that our effort and our fight and our pride in playing for Cardiff remains the same. 

“We try as much as possible to imprint our game on the pitches out in South Africa, which is a challenge. If we do those two things, then it's a good end to the season, but certainly my mindset hasn't changed from game one to game 21, which this weekend's game will be.”