‘We need to get better’

2014-09-03 00:00

THE talk in the Sharks camp early this week has delivered a clear message — cut out the errors — after the Durban side went down 32-22 to the Pumas last Friday.

No one can deny that the Sharks had a daunting task that night having lost a flank and two locks in the first hour of the match, but assistant coach Sean Everitt believes the loss was by their own doing.

“As a team we are not happy with the way we played on Friday night. We made a lot of unforced errors in that game and we know that the team are better than that,” Everitt said.

The coach said there was some real disappointment in losing their first match of the Currie Cup but the main concern was the way they played.

Although Everitt was coy about the detailed aspects where he felt their game suffered, he believes his charges need to put the ball through more phases and be more accurate in general execution.

Despite the loss, Everitt insists that the side is learning and developing as the tournament progresses.

“It’s a young group; we don’t have the experience that we had in previous years in the Currie Cup so the guys will learn. Every weekend that they play they get better at what they’re doing. We’ve got a home game against the Griquas and the most important thing as a group is to get it right,” he said.

He also believes that last weekend’s fixture offered a good lesson to the youthful Sharks side. “The momentum that we gave them was due to our own errors, we didn’t kick out when we should have, our defensive lines weren’t correct when they should have been so we left holes for them to attack and they did really well and they executed so credit must go to them for taking advantage of our mistakes,” he said.

Getting the fundamentals right is a big focus for Everitt and he believes it may help his side capitalise better on scoring opportunities.

There were some positives taken out of their first loss in the Currie Cup as Everitt was especially happy with scrumhalf Conrad Hoffmann’s contribution.

“Conrad went really well and he took a lot of pressure off us from an exit point of view. We had an option kicking off nine which we haven’t had in previous weeks so we’re happy with the way he played,” he said.

That being said, the Sharks were dealt a double blow in their defeat with flank Francois Kleynhans being ruled out for eight weeks with a broken hand and lock JC Astle is out for three weeks with a hamstring strain.

“We are fortunate that Stephan Lewies will come in, he’s ready to start again after a layoff with injury and we have got Wiehan Hay who has been in our system for a while and has played Vodacom Cup rugby,” he said.

Marco Wentzel will also make a welcome return to the Sharks second row after a short holiday and will play an important part in the Sharks match against the Griquas this Saturday. “The Sharks don’t have a great record against the Griquas. We lost to them at home last year but rectified that when we were away and we came off a good win against them earlier in the season.

“For us, it’s about concentrating on what we need to do to get better,” Everitt said.

The Sharks host the Griquas in Durban on Saturday. Kick-off is at 5.05 pm.

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