United Rugby Championship

Sharks boss Everitt paid no mind to White's pre-match hype: 'We all know Jake'

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Sean Everitt
Sean Everitt
Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Coach Sean Everitt says he didn't pay attention to Jake White hyping up his side heading into Friday night's United Rugby Championship clash against the Bulls at Kings Park.

Ahead of the clash, which the Sharks won 30-16, White had pointed to the fact that the Durbanites were welcoming back a host of World Cup-winning Springboks including Siya Kolisi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Bongi Mbonambi and Sbu Nkosi.

The suggestion from White, before and after the match, was that the Sharks were developing into a powerhouse given their Bok star power and their recruitment drive that has crossed international borders in recent months. 

"We all know Jake and he likes to fire up the opposition," Everitt said after the match.

"I have coached with Jake and nothing is different to now. I think it was to take the pressure off them, but at the end of the day they have seven experienced Springboks who were on the field tonight, and then you add a young guy like Grobbies [Johan Grobbelaar] who came on for them too.

"The majority of their 15 have been part of the Boks as well, so I think it was level pegging as far as that's concerned.

"We knew what we had to do to beat the Bulls here at Kings Park, and we certainly did that."

White was making no excuses for his side's loss after the match, and he again pointed to the Sharks being a franchise on the up. 

"They're a good side and I said it during the week that they're like an international club team now," he said.

"This is the most experienced provincial club team in South Africa.

"There are five players who have come back from winning a World Cup a couple of years ago and a couple of guys who have come back from end of year tour.

"Then you've got Sbu Nkosi and Thomas du Toit who were not involved, but they're still part of this mix.

"It was always going to be a tough game. We've been plodding along as a group and we've been very happy with how we've been developing, but we've still got lots of work to do and things we need to look at in how we're going to strengthen our squad.

"The Sharks have brought in an Argentinean flyhalf and a Tongan and an Australian ... the reality is we've got to find ways, whether it's bringing in personnel or using what we have within.

"We get to play them at Loftus. We haven't played a home game yet, we've played five away games. It's been a tough start for us."

The sides will now break for the festive season before returning to competition in early January.

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