'Next job mentality': How the Sharks affected turnaround after Everitt sacking, Cardiff turmoil

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Rohan Janse van Rensburg. (Photo Mandatory Credit Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
Rohan Janse van Rensburg. (Photo Mandatory Credit Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
  • Rohan Janse van Rensburg says Neil Powell applied a simple "next job mentality" to navigate them out of a tumultuous period following Sean Everitt's sacking.
  • The Sharks centre also suffered a momentum-breaking three-match ban but bounced back to contribute to their five-game winning run.
  • Janse van Rensburg said although they missed Everitt, they could not dwell on the past.

Sharks centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg says the Sharks dealt with the turmoil that erupted after the Cardiff defeat and subsequent Sean Everitt sacking by sticking to a "next job mentality".

Van Rensburg was nearing the peak of his stride in Durban when a series of unfortunate events curtailed his momentum and threatened to derail the entire Sharks season.

The midfielder first copped a three-match ban after getting sent off in the Sharks' chastening 54-34 defeat to Leinster in Dublin.

READ | 'Desperation' to break into Bok ranks fuels Rohan Janse van Rensburg's outstanding Sharks performances

He returned only to partner Francois Venter in midfield during the earth-shaking 35-0 defeat to Cardiff at Kings Park in the United Rugby Championship (URC) round eight.

So bad was the result that it saw the back of former head coach Everitt, who spent 15 years in various roles at the Shark Tank and was a soundly revered and liked figure at the establishment.

But director of rugby Neil Powell, who took over as head coach, steadied the ship by getting the team to focus on the next gig and not to dwell on the past, according to Janse van Rensburg.

"There wasn't something Neil necessarily did but it was about having a next job mentality," Janse van Rensburg said.

"You can't change the past, you can't change what happened or what happened to Sean. We miss Sean but you have to have a next job mentality.

"If you're going to get drained in the sadness of him leaving and everything going on, then we wouldn't have gone on the five-game winning streak.

"That's the mentality Neil brought. We can't do anything about the past but we must focus on what's lying ahead and what we need to accomplish as a team.

"He got everyone on board with that."

Van Rensburg came from Sale and immediately settled in well in the Sharks backline, since forming a promising partnership with returning Springbok Lukhanyo Am.

He's also played well as 12 and 13 with Wallaby Ben Tapuai and looks to be one of the Durban franchise's shrewd signings this season.

But in his exuberance and desire to do well, things almost boiled over when he put two foul shots on Leinster players that earned him the red card in Dublin.

He said the ensuing ban broke his momentum somewhat but he bounced back in style and starred in the Sharks' win over the Bulls in December.

So far, Janse van Rensburg has scored four tries in seven URC outings and is sixth in the competition with successful offloads (11).

"I was 100% disappointed with that. The team, I felt, had very good momentum at that time and, unfortunately, that happened and it wasn't too nice," said Janse van Rensburg about his sending off.

"Then, we had that game against Cardiff, which wasn't the best game the Sharks have ever played - probably one of the worst games.

"That shot me back a little bit more momentum-wise. But you've got to move on from disappointments, that's the only way.

"You have to try to put in good performances and serve your team as much as you can. You always try to do your best and I think that's being portrayed in everyone now, trying to put in good shifts and we want to win."

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