Sharks captain Am opens up on Loftus disaster
SPOTLIGHT: Sharks captain Lukhanyo Am knows that his team have a lot to work on ahead of their Super Rugby Unlocked Round Four encounter with the Pumas in Nelspruit.
The Sharks were smashed 14-41 by the Bulls in Pretoria in Round Three and they look a far cry from the team that dominated Super Rugby earlier this year before COVID-19 suspended the season.
“I think it was a very frustrating game,” Am told reporters on Tuesday. “They [Bulls] managed to put us under a lot of pressure at the breakdowns and set-pieces, so from our side, the struggle to get momentum and continuity was our downfall.
“Going forward to this week’s game, we worked very hard on our set-piece and we tried brushing up on the errors that we did last weekend.”
He added: “If it wasn’t for the set-piece errors we could have been in it.”
While Am has blamed the set-pieces for his team’s struggles, the Sharks were doing very well in the scrums prior to losing Springbok prop Thomas du Toit before the half-hour mark to a calf injury.
“Sadly, we lost Thomas. He is a very experienced player and one of the leaders in the front pack, but changes have to be made and whoever slots in will do the same job,” said Am.
Despite the heavy defeat, Am believes the confidence in the team is still high going forward.
“It’s always tough playing at Loftus, but I don’t think it bruised our confidence that much,” he said.
“We knew what happened and we knew what went wrong and this week we will definitely try to rectify that.”
On his team’s upcoming trip to the Mbombela Stadium, Am knows that facing the Pumas will be a tricky encounter.
“Historically whenever we played against the Pumas it has always been a close and tough game, so I think coming back from a loss and going to Mbombela, we know it’s going to be a tough outing.
“We are geared up and ready and prepared for the Pumas this weekend,” Am added.