The cracks in the Sharks armour
REACTION: The Sharks’ second defeat of the season has highlighted a couple of problem areas in Sean Everitt’s squad.
The Sharks’ hope of finishing top of the table took a massive dent following Saturday’s defeat to the Stormers.
Desperate to bounce back after their loss to the Bulls last weekend, the Sharks – regarded as one of the contenders for the Rainbow Cup SA title – suffered a 22-25 defeat to the Stormers.
The result means the Stormers have jumped into second place on the log thanks to a slightly better points difference than the Sharks, who missed out on an outside chance to go top of the standings.
The Sharks dominated the opening minutes of the match and took a 10-0 lead.
However, a try from wing Edwill van der Merwe along with a Pieter-Steph Du Toit five-pointer got the Stormers back into the match.
“We can’t question the guys’ effort. They worked hard and gave everything against a very powerful pack, ” Everitt told reporters via virtual media conference.
“We dominated the first 30 minutes and patches of the second half.
“I thought our power game was really good and we showed a lot of patience in the first half in the build-up to the that try
“Unfortunately, we gave a soft try away just after Edwill van der Merwe’s try; I felt that try just after half-time was also a lapse of concentration and we got our defensive system wrong there.
“We will certainly have to address our soft moments and work harder,”
The Sharks coach also identified their lineouts as a problem area.
“Lineout is a massive source of possession when it comes to try-scoring.
“I’m really disappointed. I thought our lineout functions really well in the first half and then we came under the pump in the second half.
“Credit to the Stormers. They’ve got three really good jumpers in [JD] Schickerling, Marvin Orie and Pieter-Steph [Du Toit]. They’ve got some really tall timber there, but we got to be better than that and it’s a lot of hard work for us in that department,”
The Sharks conceded 14 penalties during the 80 minutes and had been down to 14-man after Sibusiso Nkosi was yellow carded, which is another major concern for Everitt.
“Nkosi’s yellow card was a bit unfortunate. He was trapped in the ruck and couldn’t get out, but that is the law.
“However the penalties that we conceded was mainly at setpieces and it is a concerning thing because we don’t want to put ourselves under pressure and we doing that at the moment.
He added: “We have to look at the scrums and see the interpretations there,”
The Sharks will face the Lions following this weekend’s bye.
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) May 23, 2021