Sharks get massive wake-up call ahead of URC
REACTION: Sharks head coach Sean Everitt described his team’s 10-44 Currie Cup Final defeat as a “massive learning experience” ahead of the United Rugby Championship (URC).
The team from Durban were completely outplayed on Saturday. The Bulls outscored their opponents by six tries to one, scoring three five-pointers on either side of the break to ensure they never lost control of the match.
The points difference of 34 was also bigger than the previous record of 30, set by the Bulls (then still called Northern Transvaal) when they beat Western Province, 39-9, in the final in 1980.
“We had opportunities in the first half but didn’t nail them, all credit to the Bulls,” said Everitt.
“I said during the week that the team that has the better of the first 30 minutes would win the game and that’s exactly what happened.
“We just didn’t get the start we wanted and the small things we didn’t get right had massive consequences.”
He added: “From a preparation point of view, we prepared well leading into the game, although we had a few guys going down with a tummy bug during the week and Marius Louw was affected, he grew tired in the warm-up, so we had to replace him late which wasn’t ideal, but it’s no excuse for the loss.”
A new challenge
The Sharks kick off their URC campaign with a match against Munster in Ireland next Saturday (September 25), followed by matches against Glasgow Warriors (Scotland) and then Ospreys and Cardiff Blues (both Wales) during their first four weeks on European soil.
Everitt said that they would take a lot out of the Final to use for improvement for those upcoming matches.
“Every game you play is a learning experience and every final is a massive learning experience.
“We have quite a few youngsters in this group and they will learn from this. We will use this as learning before we go overseas on Friday.”
Even though the results didn’t go our way this weekend, we are extremely grateful for all the support we received throughout the season from our loyal fans 🖤#OurSharksForever pic.twitter.com/00I0gXQ06f
— The Sharks (@SharksRugby) September 13, 2021
Everitt knows that his team will face a lot of different challenges in Europe.
“It’s going to be a difficult challenge for all the South African teams, but we’re looking forward to it,” said Everitt.
“There will be new energy, it’s a different competition and the Sharks travel well.”