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The Cooldown - Sharks v NSW Waratahs

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By Waratahs Rugby Media Unit

NSW Waratahs Assistant Coach Nathan Grey wraps up the game against the Sharks in South Africa. The team came off a tough loss against 2016 Super Rugby runners up the Lions at their home ground in Johannesburg.

The Sharks maximised the home ground advantage and were eager to get the win at their first home game. While the Tahs were disappointed in the loss, Grey said there were a lot of positives the team could take from the tour.

How tough is it playing in South Africa in front of very vocal home crowds?
It’s great playing in South Africa, they really know their rugby over there so it’s a really good experience for our players. It can be quite intimidating, the stadiums are big, the supporters are very loud and they love their teams, so you definitely go out there knowing the enemies.

What was the feeling heading into the Sharks games?
We were confident going into that game, if we played the way we wanted to we could have got that result. We let ourselves down there though. Our training week in Durban was excellent, the performance against the Sharks was kind of one we gave them the game. Which is very frustrating but is comforting knowing the fact that you haven’t been outplayed, you’ve kind of beat yourself a bit. You’ve got to take the confidence out of that but also address those little bits of details and execution that really that cost us. That’s the learnings we’ll take out of the weekend.

What were the learnings round two into round three?
There was a definite step up in intensity, starting to defend more around how we want to defend. We addressed that during the week after the Lions. We knew we had to focus on being more aggressive in everything that we do. We got some good results in terms of turn over at the tackles and turn over through general pressure with line speed. So they are the good things we’ll take out of the game. 

What can we expect from the Brumbies given the rivalry between the two sides, this weekend?
There is no doubt there is a long standing healthy rivalry between the two teams. It’s one of the great rivalries in Australian rugby. In saying that a lot of the guys are good mates as well. But that’s rugby, you’ll go onto the field and battle the other side and then all is forgotten once the game is over.

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