Force outplay Sharks in Super 14 friendly

2010-01-27 00:00

THE Sharks made the worst possible start to their season when they were outplayed 26-0 by the Western Force in their Super 14 friendly at Newlands last night.

No one, of course, should read too much into this friendly, the first outing of the season for the Sharks, but the defeat did highlight several areas of concern for head coach John Plumtree, most notably at the breakdown, in defence and in turning possession into points.

Former Bok flyhalf Andre Pretorius made an impressive debut for the Force and this highlighted the Sharks’ problems in the pivot role, where they have lost Juan Martin Hernandez to injury. Plumtree started with Monty Dumond at flyhalf last night and he failed to make any impact on the game, while his replacement in the last quarter, young fullback Patrick Lambie, also struggled to assert himself.

The Sharks won a fair share of possession, but lacked direction on attack. Plumtree threw on 11 substitutes after the break — including number eight Willem Alberts — and there was some improvement as they dominated the game territorially, but they were unable to put points on the board.

Scorers: Western Force: Tries: Sam Wykes, Ryan Cross, Cameron Shepherd and James O’Connor. Conversions: Andre Pretorius (2) and O’Connor.

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