Pete Wilkins preview to Sharks

05 January 2023

Pete Wilkins preview to Sharks

This Saturday brings a big challenge to The Sportsground as South African side Sharks come to Galway for Round 12 of the BKT United Rugby Championship.

Speaking ahead of the game was Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins who feels this is a "must win game' for the team as they look to keep touch of the play off positions.

"It is a must win game and I know Andy (Friend) said that in his post match after Leinster and there's truth in it" said Wilkins.

"We have had a lot of must win stages in this season to date, after the first three games of the season everyone said we had to win"

"There have been a few junctures where we've recognised the importance of a game and the result needed and this week is one of those"

With such importance on the need for a win could a defeat be a major set back for Connacht?

"I know its a cliche to say it but we just take one game at a time, we have to win the next challenge on front of us and that's where our focus is"

"We've finished our interpros for the year and they can be our toughest games, we had a tough start to the season so it has been a challenging year but we're on the other side of that now and in touch of the top eight"

"We're confident we can get a result this weekend"

Pete was asked if the players are ready for Saturday and if they are feeling the pressure.

"There's a disappointment with the players after the last two results and obviously there's that frustration after losing a game" said Wilkins

"There's a good group of lads here and as coaches we never question their attitude heading into games"

"Every week these lads push each other to be better, sometimes results don't go your way but its how you grow from that"

"These lads will be ready for Saturday no doubt about it"

The Sharks are coming to The Sportsground in really good form having not lost a game since November but Connacht will look to end that.

"They are a really interesting team, they are exciting to watch" said Wilkins

"They score quickly and don't need a lot of phases but equally other teams tend to score against them without much phases"

"The challenge for us is to control those big moments and big players they have so they don't get that quick reward"

"On our side we need to make sure we make them work and put them through their phases and ultimately get the ball back"

"We need to take them to somewhere where they are less comfortable"

Tickets for Saturday's game are available HERE