Sharks coach Sean Everitt says that he and his players are devastated following Saturday's Currie Cup final defeat to the Bulls at Loftus.
It took extra-time for the Bulls to win the match 26-19 after the sides were locked at 19-19 after 80 minutes, but for a large chunk of the contest the visitors had held the upper hand and looked set to land the trophy in what has been the most unique of domestic rugby seasons.
Speaking after his side's defeat, Everitt acknowledged that it was a tough one to take.
"We're very disappointed," he said.
"The players are gutted and I'm gutted for them.
"They fought hard for 100 minutes."
When Super Rugby 2020 was scrapped in March last year as a result of the global coronavirus crisis, the Sharks were top of the log after seven rounds of fixtures.
Looking back on everything that had happened since then, Everitt was proud of what his side had achieved under the captaincy of Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am.
"I said to the players in the week that you can't base your success for a season on one game," he said.
"You can never do that, because there is so much that's happened since beginning of 2020 to the end of January 2021. There's been a hell of a lot that's happened.
"There are players who have been given an opportunity, there are players who have come in and done exceptionally well, the players have grown as a squad, the leadership group has grown, players have matured and the culture in our squad has grown exceptionally. There is a lot of success that's happened."
On the whole, Everitt said the Sharks could be satisfied with their efforts in 2020 and 2021.
"Everyone wrote us off when we played in the semi-final and then we got to the final and we pushed the Bulls to the 100th minutes," he said.
"I'm really proud of the guys.
"Was the season a success? Yes, it definitely was."