Cape Town - Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold is pleased with what his charges achieved on their pre-season tour to France.
The Durbanites beat Toulouse 31-17 at the Stade Ernest-Wallon on Thursday night, scoring three tries.
It finished a successful pre-season tour for the Sharks, who also beat Toulon 29-21 last Friday.
“I am a proud coach because of the fight the guys showed. That’s what we wanted to achieve on this tour. It may sound strange when I say that the wins were important but they weren’t our main objective. To put up a performance like that and beat a star-studded team like Toulouse shows that when we apply ourselves, we have the ability to play as well as we did tonight,” Gold told East Coast Radio.
Gold was particularly pleased that he was able to rotate his whole squad, with some young players stepping up to the plate, in particular flyhalf Garth April, who scored 21 points.
April replaced Pat Lambie, who injured his shoulder in the first game against Toulon.
“That was what we had planned at the end of a very disappointing Currie Cup - to give the young guys we believe have the potential some confidence. I hope we’ve been able to deliver our side as they certainly delivered on their end. There were some amazing performances from young guys who you can see desperately want to wear the Sharks jersey,” said Gold.
The Sharks open their Super Rugby campaign away to the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, February 27.
Tries: Alexis Palisson, Corey Flynn
Conversions: David Mélé, Thomas Bouyxou
Tries: S'bura Sithole, Garth April, Johan Deysel
Conversions: April (2)
Penalties: April (4)
15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Timoci Matanavou, 13 Arthur Bonneval, 12 Jarrod Poï, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 David Mélé, 8 Gregory Lamboley, 7 Gillian Galan, 6 François Cros, 5 Edwin Maka, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Gert Muller, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp
Substitutes: Kakovin, Tolofua, Marchand, Aldegheri, Tialata, Tekori, Manukula, Harinordoquy, Tuinukuafe, Tebaldini, Bouyxou, Tolofua, Bienvenu, Rauga, Kunatani, Billard
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Wandile Mjekevu , 13 Heimar Williams, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Garth April, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Dave McDuling, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Juan Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 18 Daniel du Preez, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 André Esterhuizen, 23 Paul Jordaan, 24 Odwa Ndungane, 25 Joe Pietersen