Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree feels their 12-6 loss
to the Cheetahs on Saturday was a game they should have won.
A late Willie le Roux try, and a first half score by Raymond Rhule led the men from Bloemfontein to victory at a wet and cold Kings Park, where two Patrick Lambie penalties either side of the interval had kept the hosts in the game.
"We created plenty of opportunities and I thought we played all the rugby," Plumtree said.GALLERY: Sharks v Cheetahs
VIDEO: Sharks v Cheetahs, highlights
"I think the Cheetahs played no rugby. They just kicked the ball away all night. We wanted to be a bit more ambitious and as positive as we could, but weren’t entirely accurate.
"Losing tonight is a big setback. We needed that win big time before going on tour, but didn’t quite get it and that puts us under a fair bit of pressure now."
There was also more bad news on the injury front, after Springbok front-rower Tendai Mtawarira sustained a calf injury, while on-loan Lions debutant Andries Coetzee went off with a suspected dislocated shoulder.
Plumtree said the injuries were not ideal ahead of their departure for their four-leg away tour to New Zealand and Australia.
"It’s not looking good for Beast (Mtawarira) and he won’t be on the plane tomorrow. He’s probably out for four weeks," Plumtree said.
"I was really disappointed about Andries, because I thought he played really well too. He could be out for a couple of months."
The Sharks face the defending champion Chiefs on Saturday (09:35 SA
time), followed by matches against the Highlanders, Reds and the Force.