Cape Town - The Sharks have made an uninspired start to the 2015 Currie Cup season, and wing S’bura Sithole believes that a lack of experience in the setup cannot be used as an excuse for much longer.
Two wins - both against the lowly EP Kings - from their opening four fixtures have left Gary Gold’s side outside of the playoff positions.
The good news for Gold is that the Sharks are one of four sides in a congested mid-table to have won two and lost two.
The Pumas are up next in Durban on Saturday and the Sharks will be looking to overturn the 33-24 loss they suffered in Nelspruit on the opening weekend of the competition.
“Coming into the season we had a lot of guys who were inexperienced. We had a few Super Rugby guys but most of the guys were new in the squad. We had new players from overseas and new players from other provinces as well,” Sithole said.
“I think it’s been a slowish start to the season. From the first game until the last game we played it’s been an uphill for us... we’re getting better though.
“But as the season goes on we can’t use inexperience as an excuse. At some time the players have to kind of grow up and show face on the field.
“I think the guys are getting more inexperience with different situations on the field and are getting better with that.”
Sithole is expecting another tough battle against the Pumas on Saturday, and acknowledged that revenge would be a factor.
“Most of the guys are still hurting from that first loss so it’s nice to play them pretty soon to get that pain away for us,” he said.
“Everyone knows the Pumas have got a big forward pack and good running backs as well... a good kicking game.
“I think they’re going to bring physicality like we saw in that first game... they feed off their set piece and their scrum and coming around the corner. I think that’s going to be our battle this week... stopping them coming around the corner and dominating their set piece.”
Kick-off for Saturday's clash at Kings Park is scheduled for 15:00.