A shot at redemption
Sport24 columnist Jean Deysel (File)
While it’s always frustrating carrying an injury, I’m making some good progress and feel that in around three weeks' time the ankle will be well healed. As I’m not able to run as yet, I have been training on my own and keeping busy in the gym.
After a disappointing loss to the Brumbies, the guys would have had a good, tough look at themselves this week.
The Australians were all over us from the first whistle. Hats off to them for putting all the pressure on us. The old adage of being only as good as your opponents allow you to be is true on this occasion.
The reality is that it is never easy to play catch-up rugby. What makes it so tough for a team is that the more you try to get points on the board, the more your error and turn-over count rises.
While we conceded four tries, I don’t feel the team defended as badly as some may suggest. In my opinion, of greater concern was the fact that we failed to put the Brumbies under pressure at the breakdown and tackle area.
Monday would have been the last time the guys discussed the Brumbies game and they will now be re-energised and fully focused ahead of our home clash with the Rebels this Saturday.
Knowing John Plumtree’s methods of thinking well, he certainly won’t be looking to reinvent the wheel after one loss. It’s about keeping the guys heads up and putting into perspective that we have started this season far better than we did last.
Against the Rebels, I’m convinced that the guys will redeem themselves on attack and defence.
Despite having only scored three tries in our first four games, I wouldn’t say it’s an area of concern. They guys are playing well and sometimes it takes small adjustments for a team to start scoring tries.
It’s also up to my fellow forwards to create the space and time for the backs to deliver on offence.
The Australian sides’ forward packs have definitely improved, which makes Super Rugby such a physically-demanding competition week-in and week-out. The Australasian teams are aware that they have to match South African sides at ruck time and in terms of physicality.
The Brumbies are certainly playing well and have generated confidence and momentum from winning, but there is still plenty of rugby to be played. I feel it’s too early to talk about favourites for the Super Rugby trophy.
While the side from Canberra are in a good position atop the table, we are not sitting too badly on the standings ourselves and remain in the playoff places.
I’m looking forward to cheering on my team-mates from the stands this Saturday. It’s a different experience viewing the game from there as you get a real sense of the atmosphere in the Shark Tank.
I believe the boys will shake off their loss to the Brumbies and hit back with a 20-point win to take into our bye week.
Jean Deysel, educated at Hentie Cilliers High School, made his Sharks’ Super Rugby debut in 2008.
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