Super Rugby

Sharks get their attack going at last post-lockdown

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Sharks fullback Manie Libbok cruises to the try line.
Sharks fullback Manie Libbok cruises to the try line.
(Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images)
  • The Sharks were on a clear mission against the Pumas last weekend to rev up their attack.
  • They scored six converted tries in an impressive 42-19 win in Nelspruit.
  • Sean Everitt said they used the set-piece as the foundation to then launch their dangerous attackers.

The Sharks were on a clear mission last weekend to get the revs of their attack up, and they did so spectacularly in a six-try 42-19 win over the Pumas at Mbombela Stadium.

Sharks coach Sean Everitt said the plan was to ensure the set-piece formed the foundation from which the offence could springboard.

This was in plenty evidence, as the Durbanites scored three tries from lineout drives, as they opted to go for the throw-in instead of kicking for three-pointers throughout the match.

READ | Sharks put six tries past Pumas

"Our plan at the start of the game against the Pumas was to show intent and give the forwards confidence by going for the touchline, so that we could get some maul practice going," Everitt explained.

"The guys worked hard on the set-piece in the week and, as you could see, it paid off. We scored three maul tries on Saturday.

"Scoring six tries against the Pumas in Mpumalanga is never easy, let alone trying to get a win, so we are very happy with the result.

"I am also happy with the way the guys played and that's largely due to the improvement in our set piece over the weekend.

"What was pleasing to see, without Thomas du Toit, we managed to have dominant scrum and our lineout was very efficient. That gave our dangerous backs an opportunity to attack."

Debutant hooker Dan Jooste, who transferred from Western Province this year, made a good case for himself as a probable starter after putting on a flawless display in the No 2 jumper.

The Sharks lineout was a shambles against the Bulls the weekend before at Loftus, and contributed to their detriment in the 41-14 defeat.

But with some tweaks, including moving Dylan Richardson to his more comfortable No 6 position, and bringing in Jooste, Everitt was able to steer that facet back on the straight.

"Dan Jooste's debut start for the Sharks was very pleasing," the coach said.

"I'm sure he’s very proud of his performance. He tireless in the loose, had a very high tackle count and was pinpoint in his throwing. He provided some good muscle in the front in the scrums as well."

The Sharks next face the Cheetahs at home, who have been unfortunate to be without action for two weeks after their stellar win over the Bulls in Bloemfontein.

They might suffer from the ring rust that has impacted the Sharks at the beginning of Super Rugby Unlocked.

"The lockdown rustiness has never been an excuse for us over the last few weeks," said Everitt.

"But certainly the bye after Super Fan Day, then playing the Lions and having a bye straight after didn’t help us much.

"We are back on track, though, and we have a massive challenge this weekend against the Cheetahs and we are looking forward to that battle."

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