Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Sharks keen to build momentum after ‘ticking the first box’, says Koch

"To win is two steps forward and a sign that we have successfully bought into the plan."

The Sharks are eager to keep that winning feeling going when they take on Edinburgh in their United Rugby Championship (URC) match at Kings Park on Saturday afternoon.

It has been a very difficult season for the Sharks so far, and they went into last weekend’s encounter against Irish giants Ulster sitting bottom of the table, having won just once in 10 games in the competition.

However, an impressive performance followed, allowing them to walk away with a morale boosting 22-12 win, which lifted them up to 14th on the URC log and gave them some good momentum ahead of their clash with the Scottish side.

Vincent Koch

Springbok prop Vincent Koch, who made his debut for the Sharks in the Ulster game after Bok resting protocols and injury had kept him out for most of the season, said they now had to back up the performance going forward.

“Winning does bring a different vibe, and it was a nice feeling to start the week on Monday as a winner. We still need to fix a lot, but we ticked the first box for the rest of the season by winning,” said Koch.

“We play the game, and the scoreboard does matter. To win is two steps forward and a sign that we have successfully bought into the plan. Most importantly, there can’t be a lack of effort.

“Among our goals for the next few games is to show a dominant picture to teams and referees. We want to win. Everyone enjoys winning.

“We have a few home games now and we want to make it as difficult as possible for visiting teams, and we want to use the URC games as a build-up to the Challenge Cup (playoffs).”

Extra bite

Adding an extra bite to this weekend’s game is the return of former Sharks coach Sean Everitt, who stepped down early in their second URC season in November 2022.

Director of Rugby Neil Powell took over the reins until the end of last season, with John Plumtree now head coach, while Everitt was named head coach of Edinburgh in the off season, and has enjoyed decent success with them so far.

“I can’t speak about Sean and his exit from the Sharks as I wasn’t part of the team when he coached here, but I can imagine what it will be like for him returning to coach against his old team,” said Koch.

“I have been part of clubs before that I left and then ended up playing against them, and there is always extra motivation in those situations. You want to prove a point and in Sean’s case I am sure he will want to prove a point and psyche his players up.

“He wants the result as well so I think the Edinburgh players can expect a nice pre-game chat from their coach.

“But we haven’t spoken about their coach. Our conversation has been more about the team they will field against us.

“For us it is not us against Sean Everitt. What he brings to them as a coach is just part of their thing. We must just be sure about what we are up against this weekend.”

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