- Sharks midfielder Ben Tapuai said they hope to be better than they were last year when they face Edinburgh.
- The team from the Scottish capital beat them 21-5 in Durban last year, a defeat that had long-term playoff ramifications for the Sharks.
- Tapuai said they won’t underestimate the hosts, even if they may find themselves short of their Scottish internationals.
Sharks midfielder Ben Tapuai says they hope to apply the lessons from last year’s sobering home loss against Edinburgh in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship against the same side in the Scottish capital.
The Sharks’ 21-5 home loss last season went a long way towards condemning what was then Sean Everitt’s team to an away quarter-final against the Bulls.
They were also caught short in extremely wet conditions where the sharper visitors caught the hosts napping and cold.
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Tapuai admitted they didn’t adapt well to the weather conditions last year, but faced with winter cold and a synthetic surface at the DAM Health Stadium, the former Queensland Reds midfield back said they had no other option but to adapt.
“We were very disappointed with the way we played against them the last time did we so at home,” Tapuai said.
“We learned a big lesson in terms of how to play rugby and adapting to conditions on the day. I remember that it was hot that entire week, then it rained on the day.
“Every loss comes with a lesson, and we’ve taken a few in this competition. We’ve touched on it, but the key has been trying to get used to the 3G pitch and look at what we can control.”
Edinburgh, being one of two Scottish mainline teams alongside the Glasgow Warriors, are also set to shed players for a Six Nations training camp.
Tapuai, who represented Australia seven times and turned 34 last week, said they can’t be worried about the players their opponents will shed.
“We can’t read into the absence of the players too much because they’re a really strong side,” Tapuai said.
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“They’ve been in this competition for a very long time, so whether they have their Scottish internationals or they don’t, it’s going to be important for their campaign to finish as high as they can.
“Coming off a disappointing loss against Harlequins last week, I guess we’re just focussing on ourselves and try to get everything sorted for Saturday.
“We’re not too worried about who they’ll have because they’re a quality side, regardless of who they field.
“We’re still learning the ropes in this competition.”
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