'Here comes the secret'- Ex Bok coach lays blueprint on how Sharks beat Leinster
By Rugby Onslaught

‘Here comes the secret’- Ex Bok coach lays blueprint on how Sharks beat Leinster

Probably the toughest thing to do in the club game currently, or maybe in all of rugby, is to beat Leinster at the Aviva Stadium. Well that is the task that awaits the Sharks in the United Rugby Championship quarter-finals on Saturday.

Just a week after Leinster steamrollered their way past Toulouse to book their place in the Heineken Champions Cup final, a Sharks side without captain Siya Kolisi and talisman Eben Etzebeth has to work out how to stop them. Fortunately, former South Africa assistant coach Swys de Bruin has a few ideas on how.

Looking at how the Bulls beat Leinster in the URC semi-finals last season as a blueprint of what to do, and looking at how Toulouse played them last Saturday as a blueprint of what not to do, de Bruin shared onĀ SuperSportĀ recently what the Sharks must do.

“For me, and I can’t believe I’m saying it, they’ve got to play much less rugby,” he said. “Much, much less rugby, because the one thing you don’t want to give this Leinster side is a counter attack. So let’s cut the the counter, it’s got to be a high ball or find grass.

“It’s got to start up front with Thomas [du Toit] versus [Andrew] Porter. They’ve got to have the ascendency there, he’s got to do the job right there. And Bongi [Mbonambi] has got to go from him there on our ball. Let’s look at the Springboks, their plan, that might work. Scrum for penalties in our own half, they’ve got the pack to do that. They’ve got the front row, Bongi and Ox [Nche] and the guys can scrum them I believe if they really set their minds to it.

“Secondly, they maul very, very well and Bongi runs a maul brilliantly from the back. Thirdly, they’ve got to sort their defence, be in their faces, big, big time with their defence. But here comes the secret- they’ve got to make sure that when they play against them, and their wingers are up, you’ve got to isolate them. And that brings me back to the counter. Pass, pass, play direct, flat, and then when the wings are up, kick in behind them. I want [Hugo] Keenan to be on his own at the back with no one helping him.”

Take a look: