Cape Town — The Sharks , coming off a week of introspection, look set to back their strength and physicality when they host the Rebels in a crucial Super Rugby clash on Saturday.
Having started the season with impressive victories over the Sunwolves and the Blues, coach Robert du Preez's men then lost back-to-back local derbies against the Stormers and the Bulls.
With those two sides on a good run at the moment, the Sharks desperately need a win against the visiting Australians to ensure that they don't fall any further behind in the South African Conference.
The Sharks are currently fourth in the SA Conference on 11 points, just two behind the Bulls, lions and Stormers who are all on 13.
"There is still a lot of time for us to catch up and make it right. We are still not behind on the log. It's better that it happened early so that we can get a wake-up call now rather than later in the competition," centre Andre Esterhuizen said this week.
"We've had a great week off and time to reflect. We're obviously very disappointed in our last two performances but we've been working hard this week."
The plan, Esterhuizen says, is to go back to being a physical side that dominates the exchanges.
It is an area where the Sharks were not at their best against the Stormers and Bulls.
"There has been a lot of emphasis on keeping the ball, playing our game and getting physicality back into it," Esterhuizen said.
"We need to get back on track and hopefully against the Rebels we can get some points on the board.
"The last two games against the South African teams, there was a lot of physicality and we didn't handle it well enough. We could be more physical and we're working on it this week. We've got a great pack when they're firing."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:15 .