Sharks’ ‘silly errors’ upset Plumtree

2010-09-06 00:00

THE Sharks have stretched their lead at the top of the Currie Cup log to eight points, but coach John Plumtree was critical of his players after their 40-34 weekend defeat by the Blue Bulls at Loftus.

The Sharks led 24-10 shortly before half-time, but then lost the initiative after the break as the improving Bulls scored two quick tries to surge ahead for a crucial win.

“I am very disappointed,” Plumtree told The Witness yesterday.

“We had the chance to put the Bulls away and we certainly let ourselves down in the second half with too many unforced errors.”

Plumtree was satisfied with the Sharks in the first half when they outplayed the Bulls in all areas and had their scrum under particular pressure.

“We started well, but we did not carry on and finish the job. The unforced errors are costing us and, unfortunately, there are some serial offenders.”

Plumtree said he is determined to improve that area of the Sharks’ game and he will be hard on the players this week “and for the rest of the campaign”.

“We can’t carry on with the silly errors.”

The Sharks attack was blunted by the ankle injury suffered by tear-away flank Keegan Daniel, who was forced to leave the field before he had made his usual impact, and reserve hooker Craig Burden packed down on the side of the scrum.

“We will only know in the morning how bad it is. But I’m hoping that it is not too serious.”

The Sharks coach said there were no other serious injuries at Loftus and added that number eight Ryan Kankowski, an obvious replacement for Daniel against the Pumas in Witbank on Friday night, will return from the Springboks this week.

The win was a crucial one for the Bulls, who remain in the top four, while the Sharks’ bonus point has taken them eight clear of second-placed Western Province at the top of the log.

The Sharks, knocking back the Bulls at the breakdown and the scrum, scored two first-half tries through the powerful wing, Lwazi Mvovo, and centre Stefan Terblanche, with Pat Lambie kicking a conversion and four penalties for their 24 first-half points.

But with the Sharks defence shaky around the scrum, the Bulls scored 17 points in six minutes in the second half to change the mood and course of the game.

Replacement Bulls prop Jaco Engels added some stability to the Bulls’ scrum and, running an excellent angle close to the pack, he burst through to score.

Bok centre Wynand Olivier intercepted a flat pass by replacement scrumhalf Rory Kockott for the Bulls’ bonus point try and the lead after 69 minutes, before Sharks lock Alistair Hargreaves scored to narrow the deficit to six points (40-34).

Scorers:

Bulls: Tries: Juandre Kruger, Ruan Snyman, Jaco Engels, Wynand Olivier. Conversions: Jacques-Louis Potgieter (3), Zane Kirchner. Penalties: Potgieter (4).

Sharks: Tries: Lwazi Mvovo, Stefan Terblanche, Alistair Hargreaves. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2). Penalties: Pat Lambie (5).

 

Friday: Griquas 28 Cheetahs 33, Leopards 26 Pumas 27, Lions 46 Western Province 28

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