Alistair Hargreaves

Lessons learnt, moving on

2011-05-04 14:33
Alistair Hargreaves (File)
Alistair Hargreaves

There isn’t too much that can be said about the Sharks’ performance this past weekend. Disappointing, uninspired and quite frankly, an extremely sub-standard display from a team capable of playing much better rugby.

There are no excuses to be made, and on reviewing the game in a clinical manner, it’s plain to see where we went wrong.

Firstly, there is no way that four tries should have been conceded off set-piece play. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that at this level that is unacceptable.

Secondly, we were bullied and outmuscled by an aggressive Stormers pack who gained the upper hand on the day. We found it hard to build momentum and struggled to infuse any flow or fluency into our game.

That being said, does this mean we now doubt our chances and our ability to triumph in this Super Rugby competition?

I can assure you that the answer is a resounding “No” from every echelon in the Sharks ranks - players, management and staff included.

Hopefully, on home turf this weekend, we can prove to our fans that we are still fighting, still endeavoring and still playing with pride and passion for the jersey we have the privilege of wearing each week.

It isn’t easy for the players to stomach a result like our 32-12 loss this to the Stormers. However, our task now is to put that game behind us and focus on our challenges ahead.

We have all accepted our inadequacies and collectively taken responsibility for the poor showing. The job now is to move on, to move forward, and to pull together in a positive manner in order to get back to winning ways.

Our opponents this weekend, the Brumbies, have had a tough time of it this year and will be desperate for a win.

Although they will be disappointed with their efforts so far this Super Rugby season, we are well aware that they are capable of playing the scintillating, expansive rugby that comes so naturally to them at times.

It would be foolish to expect anything less than a battle this weekend, and we will arrive at Kings Park on Saturday ready to go to war.

With our second and final bye fast approaching next weekend, we will be playing for what are essentially nine points, (remembering that each team is awarded four points on the week of their bye) and a victory should ensure we remain in the top six teams on the overall standings.

With our main rivals involved in tough match-ups this weekend, a win could really give us the edge that could see the Sharks vying for a position in the all important knockout stages.

We as players detest the thought of anybody doubting our commitment, as well as our dedication to our fans and teammates alike.

What to expect on Saturday night then? 22 players absolutely and unequivocally devoted to playing the kind of rugby that the supporters of the Black and White deserve. We WILL be ready. Bring it on!

Alistair Hargreaves was educated at Durban High School and captained the SA Schools side in 2004. Besides being a stalwart in the Sharks' second row, he's also played two Tests for the Springboks.

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