'Very disappointed': Sharks coach opens up on missed opportunities
REACTION: Sharks coach Sean Everitt believes that with a “bit of luck” his team could have ended their United Rugby Championship tour with a win in Cardiff.
The team from Durban suffered a 17-23 defeat in a tense clash at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.
Down 0-17 after 27 minutes, the Sharks were with their backs against the wall for most of the match and although they kept on pressing hard, they ran out of time in the end and had to be content with leaving the Welsh capital with a solitary losing bonus point.
The Sharks will now head back to South Africa with only one win from their four-match tour and they are currently in 14th position in the standings.
“Very disappointed with the result,” said Everitt after the match.
“The guys put in a lot of effort, particularly in the second half. We weren’t clinical enough to get over the line. Had we scored one or two tries there when we had the opportunity it [the result] would have been different.
He added: “If we look back at tonight’s [Saturday’s] performance, the guys were under the pump in the first half, and we did extremely well to get ourselves back in the game only for us to spill opportunities close to the tryline.
“Credit must go to the defence of Cardiff and I thought with a bit of luck we could have probably won this game.”
And breathe 😅
Which match was best? 🤔#URC pic.twitter.com/MGm7W4dxZ7
— United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) October 16, 2021
‘A remarkable improvement’
South African franchises had to deal with law interpretations and tough conditions in the north and after Round Four’s results, they will return to the Republic with four wins and one draw from their first 16 matches in the new competition.
Despite that record, Everitt believes there have been signs of improvement and growth in the last four weeks.
“One has to look at the tour as a whole. I believe that all the South African franchises have made a remarkable improvement.
“It is tough playing away from home. Those are lessons learnt by the boys, but it is also about being clinical at the highest level and at times on this trip we just weren’t as good as we should have been.
“As a whole, the guys have grown a lot as a group. A lot of youngsters had an opportunity here in Europe now, which will stand us in good stead going forward,” said the coach added.
Here’s the table after Round 4 📊
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— United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) October 17, 2021