Powell on Sharks' darkest day: 'We are just not good enough'
REACTION: Sunday’s United Rugby Championship Round Eight fixture against Cardiff was a dark and gloomy one for the Sharks.
The Durban-based franchise was resoundingly beaten 0-35 at Kings Park
The Sharks were missing ten players, who were on Springbok duty. However, heading into the fixture they were regarded as favourites.
The team captained by James Venter features quality players like Francois Venter, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Vincent Tshituka, Carlu Sadie and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
But the Durbanites failed miserably. They were outplayed, outsmarted and outscored in every facet by a very clinical Cardiff side – who became the first Welsh team to win a URC on South African soil.
For Sharks, the defeat was the first time that they had been whitewashed in a competitive match in the professional era – the last time coming in 1972 against England.
The shocking defeat led to an impromptu reaction by Sharks CEO Eduan Coetzee ahead of the official post-match conference with Director of Rugby Neil Powell.
Coetzee apologized to fans, sponsors and stakeholders, while Powell also revealed his disappointment when he fronted the media.
#ICYMI: Thomas Young starred for Cardiff as they thrived in the Durban rain to claim a famous 35-0 victory over the Sharks 👇#URC #Sharks #Cardiff #SHAvCAR https://t.co/OnI8oBCrtr
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) November 28, 2022
“Needless to say that we are disappointed with the performance,” Director of Rugby Nei Powell said.
“We were just not good enough.
“If we want to play at this level, and yes it was an opportunity for the youngsters to show that they are capable, so we will definitely take a hard look at ourselves individually from a player’s and coaching perspective.
“We have to make sure we fix this, we don’t have a long turn-around time so it’s going to be hard work, but we have to show the character.
“Think if we managed to bounce back it will break great.”
Powell identified where his team failed miserably.
“Cardiff managed the game much better. At times they pinned us in our 22 and we could not do the same,” Powell said.
“There was a lot of basic errors from individuals within the team. If you can’t even do the basics well you always going to find yourself in trouble, especially against quality teams like Cardiff.”
When asked what the depth in the Sharks team is, Powell said: “We still have enough depth in our squad.
“However it was just the way we played we let ourselves down.
“There are players who are capable of playing at this level. It is just the case of us trying to play more individually instead of as a team.”