Durban - Sharks coach Brad MacLeod-Henderson admitted that their scrum was an area of concern and needed to improve over the next two weeks despite his side comfortably beating the Eastern Province Kings in their Currie Cup encounter at Kings Park on Saturday.
The defending champions won 53-24, outscoring the visitors by seven tries to three, although the scoreline did not tell the full story.
"You're always looking for improvements and also areas you can improve," the Sharks coach said.
"We struggled a bit at scrum time and I think we may have given away a few too many penalties at the breakdown.
"The scrum is certainly one area we'll need to look at before next week."
Flyhalf Lionel Cronje scored 23 points, while centre Paul Jordaan netted a brace of tries as the Sharks consolidated their third position on the standings with two rounds remaining.
"I think we scored some fantastic tries and saw some good combinations of the forwards working hard up front to score some mauling tries," MacLeod-Henderson said.
"We also saw the backs putting the finishing touches, so we were very happy."
But he felt the Durbanites had to improve ahead of fixtures against the top two in the coming two weeks. They play the Golden Lions at home on Friday and end the regular season away at log-leaders Western Province.
"It's a six-day turnaround now," McLeod-Henderson said. "We know the Lions have a strong scrum - they've got great continuity from Super Rugby, they like to play an exciting brand of rugby, they like to keep the ball in hand.
"So we'll obviously need to sort our scrum out. Defensively we'll need to be strong and we'll need to look at a few chinks in their armour that we'll try to exploit."
For the Kings, it was an eighth successive loss but coach Carlos Spencer was not too despondent.
"We still have a fair way to go, but we are showing good signs here and there.
"There are things that are letting us down and it's the same things every week we're speaking about and trying to rectify.
"I think once we get that first win, things will start coming together."
He felt Saturday's result could easily have gone the other way.
"We let ourselves down big time in the first half," Spencer said. "The yellow card, which I thought was very soft, cost us 14 points and defensively we made some crucial errors.
"But the way they (the Kings) came back in the second half, I was really proud of them.
"I thought they showed some great character and played great rugby.
"If it wasn't for a couple of soft moments and probably not winning our lineouts, I thought the result could have been different."