VIDEO: Sharks coach finds positives
SUPER RUGBY REACTION: There was the good, the bad and the Sharks.
Of all the South African franchises they had the most settled squad and were regarded as one the favourites to lift this year’s Super Rugby trophy.
Packed with Springboks like Coenie Oosthuizen, Tendai Mtawarira, Jean-Luc du Preez and Louis Schreuder, just to name a few, Robert Du Preez’s men were primed for a promising season.
The Sharks showed they have the prowess to challenge the big teams, evident in their draw against the Crusaders at Christchurch.
(Article continues below the video)
However, they somehow never could shake off the inconsistency factor.
While the Bulls proved to be a major headache for the Hurricanes in Wellington, the Sharks were dismissed comfortably with a 13-38 defeat to the Brumbies.
Du Preez’s men kicked the match off in horrendous fashion as they conceded a try in less than 60 seconds.
Two penalty kicks from Curwin Bosch kept the Sharks in touch, but Brumbies’ third converted try courtesy of Pete Samu saw the hosts head into the break with a 24-6 lead at the break.
Andre Esterhuizen scored the Sharks’ try on the in the 56th minute and had multiple opportunities to crawl their way back.
However, disastrous defence saw Brumbies add two more tries in the last 10 minutes and end South Africa’s hopes in the competition.
“It’s disappointing,” Sharks head coach Du Preez told reporters after the defeat in Canberra.
“Throughout the year we’ve been one of the top defensive teams and to concede three flash tries that early really put us on the backfoot.
“Nonetheless, we came up against a well-drilled and well-coached team,”
“Think we were unlucky not to convert our opportunities, but that what happened in finals,”
Reflecting on the overall squad and season, Du Preez added: “I’m incredibly proud of the boys, I can’t fault them for lack of effort.
“There has been a lot of growth, we certainly brought in a lot of youngsters through the system and that is fantastic.
“At times we won’t rewarded for the way we’ve played and the work that’s been put in, but that’s part of growth,”
By Leezil Hendricks