Cape Town - Sharks coach Brad McLeod-Henderson says his team produced an awesome performance to beat Western Province in the Currie Cup final at Newlands on Saturday.
As it happened: WP v Sharks
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Speaking after the match, which the Sharks won 33-19, Macleod-Henderson said his side were outstanding in remaining focused on what had to be done.
"Physically we imposed ourselves and the guys just stood strong on defence," said Macleod-Henderson.
"We arrived here as the underdogs but we remained focused on what needed to be done. We were well-prepared and after having lost to WP twice during the league stage we knew what was needed to win today.
"We brought several Springboks back for the match and we were very fortunate to have been able to call on them. They all showed pure class today."
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee was full of praise for the Sharks. He said it was clear that the Sharks had worked out his side’s defence system.
"One has to give it (credit) to the Sharks because they were outstanding," said Coetzee.
"Everything went their way. Tactically they were better and they had worked out our defence system.
"Credit to the way they applied themselves and the effective way in which they disrupted our game. We made far too many unforced errors and that resulted in soft penalties. And then often after the restart we would give away another penalty. This must have been our worst game this season.
"When we tried to play or build continuity they suffocated us. Their lineouts were much better than ours," he said.
"All our players were bitterly disappointed and they were equally disappointed with their personal performances."
Sharks captain Keegan Daniel said the side had managed to kick-start their efforts with a rousing display in the opening minutes.
"We knew a good start was crucial if we were to bring the Currie Cup back to Durban," said Daniel.
"The team peaked at the right time after making a disappointing start to the season by losing at home against Griquas.
"Our returning Springboks did a wonderful job for us. Big players have big games on big occasions, and that’s what they did."
WP captain Deon Fourie said the Sharks’ kicking tactics had worked to perfection.
"Their kicking just put us under so much pressure and at most times they kept us in our half," said Fourie.
"They contested well and they turned the ball over in the right areas.
"We have to give credit to the game plan that the Sharks settled on for this match. They were just outstanding in all departments."