Positives for Sharks

2014-08-18 00:00

THE Sharks have plenty to be positive about following their 34-17 win over the Pumas at Kings Park on Friday night.

The home side looked comfortable fronting up to a physical Pumas side that certainly proved they will be a danger to other sides in the weeks to come.

Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson was especially impressed with the way his charges ran the ball considering the slippery conditions at King’s Park on Friday night.

“I think we got the balance pretty much spot on. You’re always looking for a perfect game, but there are still a few things we need to work on. But four tries in a night game, with quite a bit of moisture around, is a good performance,” Macleod-Henderson said.

The Sharks were also impressive at the set piece, with three of their four tries coming from rolling mauls. Macleod-Henderson believes that this was the fruit of their labour last week.

“We had a look last week at what they [Pumas] had done against Free State. With that try that Tera [Mtembu] scored, it pretty much panned out well, we were aware of what they were going to do and luckily it worked out for us on the day,” he said.

It was the Sharks pack that was dominant on the day and although Jacques Botes was the official man of the match, Mac­leod-Hend­erson praised his captain Mtembu’s performance.

“I thought Jacques and Tera were outstanding and they did a full 80 minutes. I think Tera and the way he captained and led the side wasn’t far off [from man-of-the-match],” he said.

There were a few areas of concern for the home side even though they claimed their second win of the Currie Cup.

“I’d like to have a look at the penalties we gave away, I think we gave away a few too many. The first mauling try that they scored and their second try are two areas that we’ll probably have a good look at. Generally I thought our defence was quite good, there was good commitment from everyone so we are happy with the result, but you’re always looking to improve,” the coach said.

Spectators will agree that nothing can be taken away from the Pumas, who certainly came to Durban with victory on their mind. Their coach Jimmy Stonehouse rued some errors that he felt cost them the game.

“I think there were too many mistakes from our side, I think we gave the game away — it’s not that they beat us. I think we were our own worst enemy tonight and not the Sharks,” Stonehouse said.

Despite the loss, Stonehouse is confident that the Pumas can beat any team when they are firing.

“I think we’re spreading the word around. The score doesn’t look that good, but obviously everybody that knows rugby will say it could have gone the other way. I think the message is there, come to Mbombela, let this be one of our A-games and the day that you don’t turn up at your own stadium, you will have problems,” he said.

The Sharks next host the Cheetahs in Durban this Saturday. Kick-off is at 7 pm.

CURRIE CUP ROUND TWO RESULTS

Sharks 34 - 17 Pumas

Western Province 41 - 17 Blue Bulls

Golden Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province Kings

Free State Cheetahs 34 - 27 Griquas

LOG

P W D L PD BPt Pts

Lions 2 2 0 0 69 2 10

WP 2 2 0 0 43 2 10

Sharks 2 2 0 0 24 1 9

FS 2 1 0 1 0 2 6

Pumas 2 1 0 1 -10 0 4

Griquas 2 0 0 2 -14 3 3

Bulls 2 0 0 2 -52 0 0

Kings 2 0 0 2 -60 0 0

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