Press Pass: Munster up next

Press Pass: Munster up next

Get then latest from Head Coach Sean Everitt ahead of Friday night’s crucial BKT United Rugby Championship clash against Munster at Hive Stadium.

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On Benetton’s win and the Race To The Eight

“Yeah, we were looking forward to that game and excited about the team that the Sharks had picked on Friday, because I’d thought they would maybe go in under-strength. And then they came unstuck on Saturday.

“It doesn’t change anything from what our goal was, and that was to win our five remaining [regular-season] games. We’ve won three so far, so three out of three.

“We take every game as it comes. Regardless of whether the Sharks had won or lost we would have to win anyway. It would put Benetton four points behind us, which is not enough.

“It’s probably going to go down to the wire. The points that we get out of the Munster game are going to be important for us. It’s a massive game, being potentially our last game at the Hive.

“We know that whatever points we get this week, four, five, it’s going to go well for us finishing higher than eighth or seventh. Also knowing that if the Sharks win the EPCR Challenge Cup, they’ll take eighth place in the Champions Cup next year.”


On the game being Bill Mata and WP Nel’s last at home

“Yes, very much so. So there’s a lot of reasons why we need to win on the weekend – that is definitely one of them. Bill and WP have been massive for the club – they’ve been crowd favourites.

“WP has served Scotland well, over 60 Test matches, and I’m sure the crowd would love to give him a good send-off, at the same time also the team. And a win would be the cherry on the top for it.”


On Munster being a step-up mentally and physically

“Yes, first of all there’s belief that has to go into it. I think the performances that we’ve had over the last three weeks certainly bring that belief this weekend at Hive.

“We’ve played against formidable opposition here – the Lions, the Bulls, and we’ve had Glasgow at home – so the belief has been built throughout the season. We know that Munster are on a seven-game URC unbeaten streak at the moment, so they are going to be a challenge, like they are every time we play them.

“But every team in this competition is the same, so it’s about focusing on ourselves and our own performance.

“But at the same time there are certain things that we need to be accurate in in the game, and I thought we were good at that against Zebre. It would have to be a really good performance from us on Friday night to get the win.”


On Emiliano Boffelli and his return to injury

“We had Boffelli out on the field this morning. It’s a day by day thing to see how he reacts. It’s not an injury we can manage, it’s an injury that is frustrating for him because he’s not sure how the nerve will react in his back.

“It’s not damaging if he plays, it’s just a matter of whether he can get through the sessions through the week and onto the field on Friday. We’ll give him until Tuesday afternoon to see if he will be able to take the field on Friday or not.”


On Edinburgh claiming 11 wins this season so far

“I think the team’s done really well, winning 11 games so far and possibly 13 if we can top it up. I think the competition has just been incredible this year and shows how tight it is.

“There’s a few bonus points which we’ll rue along the way but at the same time we had to get Edinburgh back to winning and we’ve done that.

“You can’t have it all your own way. I think there are certain games we might have lost which we won this year and at the end of the day it’s still in our hands, whether we’ve got the bonus points or not. If we win our next two games we’re through to the top eight and maybe ending up fifth or sixth.

“So that’s important for us and a team takes a lot of confidence out of winning.

“There were certain things that when I came in late that we needed to fix and I believe we’ve done that. So there have been improvements made and a lot of these improvements are the reason why we’ve won.

“So not the [number of] bonus points we would have liked but we are happy with the wins which are going to be crucial.”


On Matt Currie being ready for Test level

“Matt Currie’s definitely ready to don the Scottish jersey. When he gets the opportunity he’s shown unbelievable maturity, and playing out of position as well, wherever he’s played, be it 12, 13 or on the wing, he’s really been good for us and been consistent in his performance.

“I think that’s due to all the hard work he puts into his game. The better prepared you are and the more individual work you do, the better you perform on a Saturday and he’s truly an example of hard work paying off.

“So it will be great to see him getting an opportunity, if he does, because he deserves it with the season he’s had.”


On Currie being the ‘first name on the team sheet’

“Yes he is. He’s been very consistent for us. He started off at outside centre, and then we gave him an opportunity to play at 12 and he did really well there.

“He formed a good combination with Mark Bennett when he was at 12 and it was also a really good combination with James Lang when he was at 13.

“Unfortunately for him, but good for us, is he’s versatile and we are able to use where we’re thin at the moment, and that’s on the wing.”

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