VIDEO: 'No excuses' for Sharks boss in blunt assessment after heavy loss to Stormers
REACTION: Sharks Director of Rugby Neil Powell found it hard to defend his team’s performance after they suffered a demoralising 19-46 defeat to the Stormers in a rescheduled United Rugby Championship Round One clash in Durban on Saturday.
The Sharks were outplayed from start to finish at Kings Park with the visitors scoring six tries on their way to a valuable bonus-point win.
The result will be a bit of a shock for the Sharks’ fans, especially after their brave performance to beat Edinburgh in Scotland a week earlier.
“It’s definitely not a good performance from us,” Powell told reporters after the clash against the Capetonians.
“We were in that game last week [against Edinburgh] and we didn’t pitch up for this one.
“From our mental approach, it’s a massive disappointment, but it is a good lesson for us and we take this on the chin.
“There are no excuses. We got to get better and we got to learn from our mistakes.
“We knew the Stormers are a team that can punish you if you make mistakes and that is exactly what they did to us in this game.”
Powell admitted that the coaching team will have to take some of the blame.
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“I don’t know if we thought after the Edinburgh game that this would be an easy game being at home,” said the Sharks boss
“As a coaching team, we will again look at ourselves and then ask the questions to the team on what we could have done better to prepare ourselves for this game.
“It is just not good enough.
“We will have to look at it and learn from it. We can’t get into a situation again where we played so well and showed such character and fight [against Edinburgh] and then the next one there is nothing.
“It almost undoes all the good things we did in Edinburgh.
“We will have a hard look at ourselves and make sure that we don’t get ourselves in this position again.”
— DHL Stormers (@THESTORMERS) February 4, 2023
A look in the mirror
Despite the result, Powell did come to his team’s defence when “consistency” was the topic of discussion.
“In our last few games, we were really consistent. This was probably the first one where I felt like were not up for it,” Powell explained.
“If you think about the Harlequins game where we lost [29-39], there was still good effort there and in the Edinburgh game as well.
“I do think there is a little bit of consistency there in the last few games that we have played.
“This was the exception for me in terms of the effort and what we wanted to do in this game.
“Cconsistency is always tough. It is a difficult thing to get right every single time, but again there are no excuses.
“If we want to be a champion team, we got to get ourselves up for every single game and be mentally prepared for whatever the opposition is bringing.”