‘Speechless’: Legend lays into Sharks
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town – Shocking, senseless, speechless … those were
some of the unflattering words from long-serving former Sharks favourite Stefan
Terblanche as he summed up their 41-0 Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-final
humiliation at the hands of the Hurricanes in a wild, stormy Wellington on
Despite the awful conditions, the home side managed six
tries and turned the screws ever more ruthlessly after leading 13-0 at the
Terblanche, a 37-cap Springbok whose Sharks career spanned
more than a dozen years as a utility back, pulled few punches in the SuperSport
studio afterwards: “I’m speechless … bitterly disappointed, to be brutally
honest. It was a shocking performance by the Sharks.
“Sometimes we don’t like listening to the New Zealand
commentators – they are (frank) and we think they are biased at times -- but
Justin Marshall said it: with 10 minutes to go, 34-0 down, the Sharks still
select, I don’t know whether by choice or game-plan or whatever, to just kick
the ball away.
“There was some really senseless kicking.”
Terblanche was less
than complimentary about the visitors’ defending, too: “The ‘Canes made 94
tackles (to 72) so it shows you the Sharks actually had the ball for good
periods of time, but it was what they did with it, or rather didn’t … and 21
missed tackles by the guys; it’s a big percentage out of 72.
“The Hurricanes were full value for their 41 points,
outstanding. They played the conditions so much better, played the situation.
“When one of Beauden Barrett or TJ Perenara, who are
world-class, plays well in a quarter-final you know the ‘Canes will have a good
day – when both play like they did, and allow the space to open up, it makes
for a long, long day for the Sharks, and for us to watch.”
Another retired Bok and former Sharks icon, Butch James, was
barely less scathing.
“It just looked on defence as if the Sharks had two or three
men off the field or something … the Hurricanes seemed to have extra players
“The Sharks allowed in some soft, easy tries and poor
decisions were made on defence.
“Also on attack, I’ve got to agree with Stef … I just don’t
think they had enough in their armoury.
“They only had the pick-and-go with the forwards, and when
it got (past flyhalf) they had nothing to show. The skill level from the Sharks
was not up to scratch.”
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