Gavin Rich - SuperSport
Durban - The saying that you learn more from defeat than from victory may be an old cliché, but the Sharks are nonetheless hoping there is some wisdom to it as they continue with the recovery process from last weekend’s implosion against the Brumbies.
It wasn’t so much the fact they lost that has bothered the Sharks’ coaching staff, but the way they lost. The final score was 29-10 to the Brumbies, which was a big enough hiding in itself, but the half-time score of 26-3 to the visitors is as bad as it has been after one half of rugby in a home match for the Sharks since John Plumtree has been coach.
“We spent all day on Sunday analysing the Brumbies game and coming up with solutions and we now have this week to put all the plans we have come up with into place,” Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford told the supersport.com website.
“I guess the measure of the success of what we apply this week will be how we do this weekend (against the Rebels). We’re pretty confident that if we get it right with this group of players, we can beat anyone. What we’re after is a performance we can feel proud of.”
According to Bashford, the clarion cry for the Sharks this week will be that they’ve got an opportunity to right what went wrong last week.
“Questions always get asked after a loss and you learn a lot from a loss, more than from a win. For us it’s about regrouping and getting over this weekend pretty quickly because the is an opportunity to fix it this Saturday.
“It was a bad 40 minute performance from us against the Brumbies. We won the second half by seven points to three, so what transpired in the second half was different to the first. And that is what we’ve addressed. We know if we play well, get our attitude right and come out and play with the commitment we need to win every game, we can do that.”
Even though the Sharks were victorious in their first three games, Bashford says the team were far from happy with how they had gone even before the Brumbies match.
“It’s all about playing consistently well and so far we haven’t walked away from a game feeling that we’ve played our best, even though we won the first three. Our challenge is to get our game going and make sure we play well. If we do that, we back ourselves to beat anyone.
“It’s not nice to lose like that, not just the loss but the fact the game was over in pretty much the first 25 minutes. There is huge disappointment with the intensity of everything we did in that 25 minute period. We just weren’t good enough, and we were playing catch-up by that stage, which was hard because we just weren’t being accurate enough.
“We were simply out-played and out-though in almost every aspect of the game and that’s the hard bit. It’s tough coming back from conceding four tries. They were getting quick ball from the rucks and that is hard to defend when the opposition just keep coming at you. They held onto the ball for long periods, but we let ourselves down with the intensity of our tackling and that is what we need to improve.”
Their clash against the Rebels at Kings Park kicks off at 17:05 on Saturday.