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More than just a game against the Lions for Sharks coach Joey Mongalo

The table-topping Sharks host the Lions in Durban on Saturday in what promises to be an absorbing Currie Cup clash where there will be more at stake than vital log points.

The Sharks are coached in the Currie Cup by Lions old boys Joey Mongalo and Philip Lemmer, and if a comment made by the former is interpreted correctly the Sharks are hungrier than ever to continue their six-game winning streak.

Mongalo, speaking after his team had beaten the Griffons 35-5 in Welkom last week, said:  “We are men who take pride in what we do. The last time we played the Lions in Johannesburg, the result didn’t go well for us and there were also one or two things that happened off the field that we want to make right.

“So it’s going to be just as personal for them as it is for us. We do have a proud record at home, so it’s something that we want to uphold.”

The Lions do not seem to be able to hold onto assistant coaches for too long, with Albert van den Berg the latest to leave under a cloud.

It’s going better for them on the field and last week they enjoyed an excellent away win against Western Province. They have climbed to fifth on the standings and with just two rounds left, they must beat the Sharks to consolidate their bid for a place in the semi-finals.

“The Lions clash is almost like a quarter-final for them, so they have to beat us to stay alive,” Mongalo said.

“Everybody knows the character of the Lions from the years of Johan Ackermann. When the chips are down, they play the best rugby, so we are expecting nothing short of their best performance of the year.”

The Sharks’ win in Welkom was last Friday and that means they have plenty of time to get their ducks in a row.

“We will have a full week to prepare, which is something we haven’t had in a long time, and we will use it wisely” Mongalo said.

Source: iol