Du Preez 'proud' of 'fantastic' Sharks win
Durban - It may not have been the most exciting Super Rugby clash of the weekend, but the Sharks' 18-13 win over the Jaguares in Durban on Saturday was a crucially important one for the Durbanites.
The sides had gone into the match level on 18 points each in Africa Conference 2, but with the Sharks having played a game more than the Argentinians.
What followed was a scrappy battle, as the Sharks struggled to play any of the entertaining rugby they had displayed in abundance in their 34-29 loss to the Lions a week earlier.
But, as they say, a win is a win and this one in particular was a big one for the Sharks.
"It was very tough, as we expected it was going to be. They're a very difficult side to play against and it was a full Test team," coach Robert du Preez said after the match.
"I'm very proud of our boys ... I thought it was a fantastic win.
"Today was difficult. The ball was really slippery, especially in the last 20 minutes. It made it really difficult to play the way we actually wanted to play."
The Sharks were forced into a late change on the eve of the fixture when Garth April was ruled out with a calf strain. That injury saw Inny Radebe come in at flyhalf while Curwin Bosch moved to fullback.
It was tough going for Radebe in his first ever Super Rugby start, but Du Preez was pleased with what he saw.
"I thought he did really well. That's really good for me," said Du Preez.
"He would have learnt a lot from this game and it was really tough for him because he didn't really get ball on the front foot. He'll just get better."
The forwards, Du Preez said, were instrumental in securing the win.
"It was a really important win. We were hoping for five points, but maybe that was wishful thinking."
The Sharks now have a bye before hosting the Melbourne Rebels at Kings Park on April 22.