Durban - Sharks coach Robert du Preez has heaped praise on his team after they kept their unbeaten record against the Jaguares intact by defeating the Argentine side 33-25 in Buenos Aires over the weekend.
Following a dire 9-all draw at home against the Rebels the previous week, Du Preez called for marked improvement and his team responded in hostile conditions.
“Passion was the big driving force behind our victory,” Du Preez told the Sharks’ official website.
“We wanted to atone for the Rebels game the previous weekend. The guys are in very good spirits, we had an enjoyable tour, it was also important that the guys had fun because it is a daunting place to go and they made the best of this opportunity.”
Of the Jaguares’ match-day squad, 22 had played international rugby, so it wasn’t only a hostile environment at Velez Sarsfield but also a team with battle hardened players from the Test arena.
“We knew before we went to Argentina it would be a very tough assignment. We always knew we would have to play with a lot of passion and courage; that for me was the most important thing. We were also technically correct in play and that also was big.”
This victory saw the Sharks narrow the gap on the Lions in Africa Conference 2 to nine points, while the Durbanites also extended their lead over the Jaguares from four to eight points.
“The game (and result) had huge significance on where we are on the log at this stage and we’re also obviously pleased that they didn’t get a bonus point,” Du Preez explained.
“Every game is important, and it showed that there are no easy games in this tournament, you can’t take any side for granted. The Kings have shown this, beating the Rebels by 40-odd points and the next three games are going to be really important, starting with this weekend against the Force. Then we have the Kings away, then the Sunwolves away follows.”