Smit praises White's impact

The Sharks CEO praised coach Jake White for the job he has done in his first year in charge.

Sharks coach Jake White and CEO John Smit. Picture: Sharks Rugby Facebook Page

CAPE TOWN - Former Sharks captain John Smit on Friday praised coach Jake White for the job he has done with the team.

White's first season in charge of the Durban-based side has seen them reach the Super Rugby semi-finals.

The Sharks face the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday morning.

Smit, who is now Chief Executive Officer at the Sharks, says White's understanding of the team and its players has been pivotal in their campaign.

"I think he was mature enough as a coach to understand that he had a very talented squad with quality players. It was up to him to see how long it would take to get to know them individually as people and to see how long it would take them to buy into his game plan."

Sharks coach Jake White. Picture: Sharks Rugby Facebook Page

Smit says the Sharks have a fantastic opportunity to achieve something great by winning in Christchurch for a second time this season.

"It's been an unbelievable season so far and the guys have won already in Christchurch once before. To do it once and create history is one thing - it is something to be proud of. To have the opportunity to do it twice is certainly an amazing thing."

The former skipper believes Pat Lambie's return to the side couldn't have come at a better time.

Lambie made a successful return to the side off the bench against the Highlanders last week.

He could start at flyhalf for Saturday's clash.

Sharks and Springbok back Pat Lambie sends a pass down the line. Picture: Sharks Rugby Facebook Page

Smit says Lambie is an integral part of the team.

"He's been a significant loss to our campaign, especially in the tough periods just before the four-week break and just afterwards. A guy like Pat would have added a huge amount of composure to our team because he has a calming influence. It's a good time to have him back."