Sharks hoping for a Cup tonic

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SHEFFIELD Sharks’ forward Andrew Bridge is looking forward to putting his side’s Championship woes behind them and concentrating on reaching his fourth BBL Cup final.

The Sharks welcome Leicester Riders to the EIS tomorrow night (7.30pm) for the first leg of the cup semi-final.

Two defeats last weekend have left Sharks second bottom of the league but Bridge says they have to focus entirely on the knock-out competition: “We’ve got a couple of day where we can forget about the league, not worry about being two and eight, and concentrate on the Cup - which is nice.

“They’ve (Riders) only lost once, so they’re obviously playing well and will come into the game with confidence.

“They’re getting contributions from a lot of guys, but when we played them at the start of the season we were never totally out of the game even though they won by 15.

“We have a good idea of how they play, we’ll be better prepared than last time, but we need to find a way of scoring consistently.”

Bridge admits that the signing of former Plymouth Raiders forward Anthony Rowe is a big boost for the Riders: “I’m surprised that he left Plymouth, but things like that happen and he’s a great pick-up for them.

“If he’s 100 per cent fit - and I’m told he is - he’ll make them better. At least we know all about his game - he’s got a good jump shot and he plays well - rather than them bringing in an unknown American.

“But that works well for them as well, as they know he’s a good player who won’t just be looking for his stats and will work with the team. It’s a smart move.”

Sharks suffered a heavy home loss against Raiders last Friday and then went down 71-68 defeat at Worcester Wolves the following night.

Bridge said Saturday’s defeat was particularly disappointing: “We were still in it with two minutes to go, and it was a one point game with 28 seconds left, but we couldn’t get either shot to fall.”

On Sunday Sharks travel to Durham Wildcats in the league.