Cape Town - Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford says they were the better team in their Super Rugby clash against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, despite narrowly losing 20-19.
Fullback Riaan Viljoen missed a last-gasp penalty which would have sealed a win for the Sahrks - who let slip 16 points by missing crucial kicks at goal.
And were it not for the missed kicks, Bashford feels his team would have walked away deserved winners.
“There were smiles afterwards because we really felt that despite the result, we had done all the playing," Bashford told the Sharks website
"We played better than them but unfortunately walked away with a loss. So the pride, the way in which we approached the game, our preparation all week, we had a strategy with the big boys to start and the pace to finish and it was all going according to plan until the last second of the game. We certainly brought our side to the party.”
While the forward pack is getting back to full strength, disruptions amongst the backs continue.
“We’re hoping that Meyer Bosman
and JP Pietersen
will be available for selection this weekend, they still have to pass fitness tests but there is a very real possibility that they will both be available. If that happens then it’s not the end of the world for us even if it is never nice to lose people - Butch (James) has four weeks
so he’s definitely out - and Pat (Lambie) is getting his back scanned, he’s not very comfortable at the moment so it’s not looking great for him.
“But then again we have options at 10, Meyer Bosman
has played there, so too Riaan Viljoen and we have Fred Zeilinga who’s a good player. So between the three of them, I’m sure come selection time, we’ll make a decision based around that.
“Pat’s back is the only injury concern, it looks like he might not be available, but the forwards seem to have come through nicely although Willem Alberts
may not train until Thursday. But we’ll assess that during the week. They’re the only two struggling at the moment.
The Sharks host the Kings at Kings Park on Saturday (17:05 kick-off) in what will be their final Super Rugby game for the year.