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Daniel - Don't write us off

Chiefs are favourites but Sharks sniff an upset

Last Updated: 03/08/12 5:19pm

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Keegan Daniel: 'Top effort' and 'best game' required

Keegan Daniel: 'Top effort' and 'best game' required

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Sharks captain Keegan Daniel insists his side should not be written off ahead of the Super Rugby final against the Chiefs on Saturday, even though the odds are stacked heavily against them.

The Chiefs will have home advantage with the contest taking place at Hamilton's Waikato Stadium, while their recent record against the South African side is also positive reading.

The Sharks were beaten by their New Zealand opponents earlier in the season and have not scored a try against them since February 2009.

Yet Daniel is hopeful they can break that run on Saturday as they target their first Super title.

"It is an opportunity for us to do something that has not been done in a Sharks jersey before," he said on the club's official website.

"Having said that we can't focus on the magnitude of the occasion, we still have to play a game of rugby against a quality team and we know it's only going to take our top effort to bring the cup back.

"The Chiefs have been a really consistent side, well-balanced. Their forwards provide them with a solid base to give their attacking backs the platform to attack.

"I don't think there is one area we have to be at our best, to win we have to have the best game we've played this season, this is a quality Chiefs side with exciting talented individuals."

The final will be a special occasion for Chiefs boss Dave Rennie, who becomes the first coach in 12 years to reach the Super Rugby showpiece during his debut season.

The Chiefs are also aiming to lift the Super trophy for the first time and Rennie has urged his players to make the most of home advantage by ensuring the Sharks always have to play catch-up.

"We feel if we can get a big enough lead, they can't come back at us," he said on the tournament's official website.

Incredibly fit

"The Sharks at times have also seemed to drop off towards the end of games, while our boys are incredibly fit, so the key for them will be to get off to a quick start, as we've noticed some teams haul them back.

"The nice thing about playing at home is that we would have only been able to take 24 players to Cape Town if we had played the final there, so it means we have all of our squad, including wider training group members, can be involved in the final.

"If we win the competition, it will be because of the efforts of the full 30."

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