Sharks have a discipline problem
SPOTLIGHT: Sharks lock Reniel Hugo says discipline remains a major issue for his team as they prepare for their clash against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Sharks are coming off back-to-back losses to the Stormers (22-25 in Durban) and the Bulls (9-43 in Pretoria) and are currently third in the standings.
A worrying stat for the Sharks is that they have conceded more penalties than their opponents in all four of their matches so far.
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In that defeat to the Stormers, the Sharks conceded 14 penalties to the Stormers’ 10. In Pretoria, a week earlier, the Sharks conceded 16 penalties to the Bulls’ eight.
Even in their 34-26 victory over the Lions in Round Two in Durban, Sean Everitt’s side conceded 18 penalties to the Lions’ nine in that match. In their opening win against the Stormers in Cape Town, the Sharks conceded 16 penalties, which was six more than their opponents.
“What is really costing us at the moment is our discipline,” said Hugo. “We are conceding a lot of penalties.
“The other teams will kick [the ball] out and set up rolling mauls and we have to stop them and that takes a lot of energy out of us.
“We are working hard on our discipline. If you are not conceding penalties and keep the ball then the other guys have to defend and hopefully, the other team’s forwards will get tired if we use the maul.”
Right the wrongs
Hugo said his team have learned a lot from their defeat to the Stormers in Round Four.
“I think against the Stormers we were quite unlucky.
“If the bounce of the ball went our way, we could have gotten a win. But we put that behind us and we learned from our mistakes.
“We are really excited for the Lions this weekend. It’s another opportunity to go showcase our talent and just build on what we got here,” said the lock.
Meanwhile, the Lions are coming off a narrow 34-33 win over the Bulls and Hugo knows that things will not be easy at Ellis Park on Saturday.
“If you look at the Lions first three games, it wasn’t big losses that they had and they had lots of opportunities.
“All four teams in the Rainbow Cup are big teams. If you look at the quality of rugby every weekend you will see that there are no easy games.
“When you get an opportunity, you must use it and it is very important to be clinical this weekend and every opportunity we get we must use and the opportunities they get we must stop them and create turnovers,” Hugo added.