Sharks take ownership, look ahead

2013-03-22 00:00

SHARKS captain Keegan Daniel, looking ahead to tomorrow evening’s Super Rugby clash with the Rebels, says his players must take responsibility for the team’s performance.

Daniel, who was rushed back from an extended injury break last Saturday, said the players were aware they had failed themselves, the coaching staff and their supporters in losing so badly to the Brumbies last Saturday.

“We’ve taken ownership and that’s all we can do. We are the ones out there. The coaches put in all the hard work during the week in terms of preparation and analysis, but there’s not much they can do in the 80 minutes of game time. It’s up to the players.”

Daniel said the players had a tough meeting on Monday to discuss their embarrassing loss and plot the way forward.

“We were honest with each other. We reviewed the game and every player knows where he stands and where he needs to improve.

“It wasn’t a great first half from us against the Brumbies and we know that. Everyone could see where it went wrong and we’ve taken it on the chin. But you then have to put that performance behind you and move forward.”

Daniel said it had been a day of honest assessment. He pointed out that a number of the Sharks’ most influential players (among them Bismarck du Plessis and Willem Alberts) were unavailable.

“They are both in our leadership group, but the onus is on each individual player to take responsibility and improve. They’re all leaders in their position on the field. It’s about taking what we do on the training field and putting the plan into place on match day.”

Daniel said his five weeks on the sidelines had been frustrating, although he had still been involved with the Sharks squad. He said his return came earlier than expected and he was looking to improve on his form. “The Brumbies’ game was my first full game of rugby since the Currie Cup final last year … Still, it was good to get 80 minutes under the belt and now I’m looking forward to seeing what this team can produce against the Rebels. We need 15 committed guys on Saturday evening.”

The match kicks off at 5.05 pm.

This weekend’s fixtures (home team first, SA time):

Today

Chiefs v Highlanders 8.35 am

Tomorrow

Crusaders v Kings 8.35 am.

Reds v Bulls 10.40 am

Force v Cheetahs 12.45 pm

Sharks v Rebels 5.05 pm

Stormers v Brumbies 7.10 pm

Sunday

Waratahs v Blues 7.05 am

Bye: Hurricanes

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