Sharks hooker Akker van der Merwe is wary of the threat posed by the Stormers ahead of their coastal derby at Newlands on Saturday.
The Sharks head into the game needing a win to keep their hopes of making the Super Rugby playoffs alive, while the Stormers will be playing for pride after their 25-14 loss to the Jaguares killed off any playoff chances they may have had.
However, Van der Merwe, who put in a man-of-the-match performance against the Lions last weekend, told the Sharks that the Stormers will still pose a threat, especially at the set-piece.
‘Every game is a must-win for us,’ Van der Merwe said. ‘When we returned from the break, we agreed that from then on, we need to win six out of six – the three pool matches of which we’ve won one, and the three knock-out games – so our motivation is 4 August [the Super Rugby final].
‘They [the Stormers] have nothing to lose, so obviously they’ll throw the ball around, while we can expect the usual physicality from the Stormers pack. They have big forwards so the set-piece battle is going to be vital for us.
‘We might have got a bit ahead of ourselves [against the Lions], but we have to stick to our plan and execute it. We don’t have concerns about our scrum. Yes, the Stormers have a very good pack, but we’ll look to stick to what we know and do our best,’ Van der Merwe added.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images