Sharks ready for the big stage in London, says John Plumtree

Sharks ready for the big stage in London, says John Plumtree

The Sharks quest to rescue their season moves to London for the Challenge Cup semifinals in May.

The Durban franchise beat Edinburgh 36-30 at Kings Park on Saturday to book their spot in the EPCR Challenge cup semifinals. Given the Sharks' struggles in the United Rugby Championship - where they were firmly at the bottom of the standings for several weeks - a chance at silverware is highly motivating for players and fans alike. Winning the title is also the only way the Sharks can get back into the Champions Cup, Europe's top-flight club competition, next season.

Waiting for the Sharks in the final four is Clermont, who dispatched Ulster 53-14 in their quarterfinal on Saturday.

Speaking to the press afterwards, head coach John Plumtree cut a positive figure but was also under no illusions as to the challenge posed by the in-form Clermont.

"I am feeling great... I am just happy for our fans and all our stakeholders here at the Sharks," said the Kiki coach, as per

"We have many people that follow us around the world. They haven't had a lot to cheer about but now they have something to really look forward to and it is us playing a semifinal in London.

"It is a big stage against a quality French side, so that is something for us to build towards. A lot can happen - we still got two games [in the United Rugby Championship] before that.

"The team is happy. This was always going to be a tough challenge playing Edinburgh again and I am just really proud of the coaches.

"They have been working hard and giving up a lot of their time and I'm happy with the leaders and the way we adjusted in the second half."

The Sharks went into the break 14-16 down after the visitors punished their ill-discipline off the tee. But the problem was mended in the second stanza, as the hosts scored 19 unanswered points before a late rally by Edinburgh gave some respectability to the scoreline. 

READ MORE: Eben Etzebeth downplays Springboks captaincy speculation