Defeat to the Cheetahs should spur Sharks coach to step up performance before Scarlets clash

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
New Sharks centre Ben Tapuai played against the Cheetahs at the weekend.
New Sharks centre Ben Tapuai played against the Cheetahs at the weekend.
Gallo

Following a worrying defeat to the Cheetahs over the weekend, the Sharks may feel the need to make some serious improvements before the resumption of the United Rugby Championship (URC) this weekend.

Coach Sean Everitt knows this.

His side resume their URC campaign, after a month-long break, by hosting the Scarlets of Wales at Kings Park Stadium on Saturday. Kick-off is at 530 pm.

To prepare for the Europeans’ arrival, Everitt’s side played the Cheetahs in a 40-34 result in the Toyota Challenge in Bloemfontein.

Though the clash was nothing more than a warm-up for the Durbanites, it did expose the Sharks’ defensive frailties.

The Durban-based franchise desperately need to start doing well in the URC following their run of three defeats and a single win on the tough European tour.

Everitt’s men started well against the Cheetahs but let the encounter slip in the late stages through defensive errors, which led to the Cheetahs snatching the victory.

“It’s been a while since we last played. It has been five weeks and we knew we were going to be rusty, and we used the last couple of weeks as a mini-preseason, as we haven’t had that opportunity prior to the Currie Cup,” said Everitt.

“I thought our set-piece deteriorated as the game went on, particularly in the last 10 minutes. We had ascendency in the scrum and we won a few penalties, but the Cheetahs took over that ascendancy. That’s a work-on for us.”
Sharks coach Sean Everitt

“I think the guys might have been a bit tired in the legs, but that’s an excuse for us. We’ve got to get better than we were against the Cheetahs. We are just thankful that we had this opportunity to play a game before we take on the Scarlets at Kings Park,” he said.

Errors in defence are not the only thing the coach will be focusing on as he said there are other areas that need serious attention as well, consistency for the duration of the game being one of them.

“I thought our set-piece deteriorated as the game went on, particularly in the last 10 minutes. We had ascendency in the scrum and we won a few penalties, but the Cheetahs took over that ascendancy. That’s a work-on for us,” he said.

“Our lineout at times when we were in the goal zone and had good opportunities there, we didn’t get clean balls that we would have liked to. I think that was the difference between the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes.”

The game gave the coach a chance to give some of his new recruits a run, including former Wallabies centre Ben Tapuai, Samoan flanker Olajuwon Noah and Dian Bleuler.

URC FIXTURES

Friday

Connacht v Ospreys — 9.35 pm

Saturday

Benetton v Glasgow Warriors — 3 pm

Stormers v Zebre — 3 pm

Sharks v Scarlets — 5.30 pm

Dragons v Edinburgh — 7.15 pm

Bulls v Munster — 7.45 pm

Leinster v Ulster — 10 pm

Sunday

Lions v Cardiff — 4 pm.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Daily Poll
Load shedding is a reality in South Africa with experts saying if the system fails, stage 8 cuts could be on the cards. What do you think can be done to end load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
We can all try using less electricity
1% - 1 votes
Deal with the rot within Eskom
34% - 40 votes
Find alternative power sources outside Eskom
65% - 76 votes
Vote

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of Witness here.
Read now