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    Gold: We can't defend like that all season

    2016-03-13 11:35

    Lloyd Burnard - Newlands

    Cape Town - Sharks coach Gary Gold has praised his side’s defensive efforts in their 18-13 win over the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday, but he knows they cannot bank on such resilience every week.

    The Sharks had been on the receiving end of some powerful Stormers running for much of the opening period, and while they did get their hands on the ball more in the second half, it was their unyielding defence that ultimately secured victory.

    “We did substantially more defending, it was just wave after wave of Stormers attack … a really good attack, as well,” said Gold.

    “I thought we did work incredibly hard from a defensive point of view and showed a lot of character which I’m very proud of.

    “It’s fair to say that we’re not going to be able to go through a season like that … we’re going to have to look after the ball better when we do have the ball and we’re going to have to exit our 22 a little bit better than we did in the first half.”

    Gold added that defending as much as the Sharks did on Saturday was never part of the plan.

    “Our strategy was to look after the ball and ask more questions with ball in hand … we didn’t do that in the first half,” said Gold.

    “But when we were in that situation and we didn’t have the ball we needed to step up and defend.”

    Though it took one moment of magic between the Pietersen’s – JP and Joe – to secure the Sharks their second try and victory, it was the display of the Sharks forwards who won the key battles.

    “I think everybody played their part, not only the forwards,” said Gold.

    “We realised against such a strong Stormers team that we were going to have to work really hard at our set piece to get some form of parity. I’m really happy with the way the guys stepped up this week.”

    The Sharks began the match by dominating the Stormers at scrum-time, while their inventiveness at the lineout also helped nullify the threat of Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit.

    “Respect is a hell of a thing and it brings things out of you, and we respect these two guys,” Gold said of the Stormers lock duo.

    “Obviously we know Pieter-Steph very well and Eben is colossal.

    “One of the things that the Stormers have been so good at in recent weeks is contesting. We had to go to the drawing board.

    “Pieter-Steph knows our mentality and Eben is ferocious. We had to think a little bit out of the box. We weren’t pretty, but that’s what you have to do when you’re playing a good team … you need to win possession.

    “If they had got the upper hand to on us from a line-out point of view that result would have been very different.”

    The Sharks travel to Pretoria on Friday for a date with the Bulls.

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