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Burger wants final push from Stormers

The Stormers take on the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.

Veteran Stormers and Western Province flanker Schalk Burger. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - Stormers captain Schalk Burger is urging his team to put in a big performance in their final Super Rugby game against the semi-final chasing Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.

A win for the home team could derail the Sharks' ambition to secure a home semi-final, as the Durban franchise needs to win and hope other results end in their favour.

Burger says a good performance over the entire 80 minutes is what is required.

"At times this year I think we've played some really nice rugby, but we haven't been able to sustain that level for 80 minutes. It's tough, because obviously when you have a good first half like we did (against the Bulls), the Bulls made some changes and forced us into difficult situations on the field."

The veteran flanker believes the Stormers must build on their superb performance against the Bulls last week.

"Every team is a different challenge, and every week you have to start from scratch and 'build an innings'. It's the same this week. Last week we got off to a flyer, and you wish that you could start off every week like that but unfortunately we can't."

Burger says the breakdown could be a challenge this week against a strong Sharks team.

"We're playing against a Sharks side that is probably the best at the breakdown of all the South African franchises. It's not going to be easy this weekend, and it's going to be a massive challenge especially on our ball, to ensure we get quick ball and not turnover ball. They've got a lot of talented guys on the ball, and they're a big, physical pack."

Burger wants to give the Newlands crowd a proper send off to thank them for their support over what has been a difficult campaign.

"We don't have much to play for, but there's going to be 40,000 people here, and all of us have our reputations. We want to go out there and put in a good performance and enjoy it. I think the most important thing about this team is that we're playing a nice brand of rugby and everyone's got good energy. It's good to watch."

Burger is putting sentiment aside for what is his final game for the Stormers this season, with the 31-year old set to play for Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath during the Currie Cup season.

The Cape rugby stalwart believes the time is right for a new challenge.

"I've got the opportunity to go abroad. I think I've earned my stripes at Western Province; I've been here for long enough. Obviously it's a bit daunting, moving to Japan. But I'm looking forward to it."

Burger says Cape Town will always be where his heart is.

"Like Robben Island and Table Mountain will never move, I'm sure I'll never move in South Africa either. My heart is in Cape Town and with this franchise. I'm looking forward to the last game because we want to end the season on a high."