Durban - While the result wasn’t exactly what the Cell C Sharks would have liked, or what they worked so hard to achieve, the Currie Cup draw with Free State was certainly an improved performance, according to Sharks' website editor Michael Marnewick.
"Our play improved quite a lot from the previous week, we certainly created more opportunities to score which means we are playing better rugby," explains assistant coach Sean Everitt.
"But we need to finish those opportunities off.
"We’re disappointed with the draw, that we got ourselves into a position to win the game and unfortunately after the hooter, gave away a silly penalty at the breakdown.
"So we’re disappointed from that point of view, but from a rugby aspect, the team certainly gave an improved performance."
There has been a feeling that the offloads are sometimes forced, a situation where everyone is trying so hard that sometimes they try too hard and don’t always get the reward they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
"For us, it’s more of a decision-making learning-curve than anything else,"Everitt explains.
"The reason why we got those opportunities this time is because we didn’t make the handling errors we made the previous week.
"Against Griquas we had 25 handling errors but we cut that down to nine this week, so we were able to play.
"Our penalty count was also halved, so being able to play means there is going to be a lot more continuity.
"There were certain parts of the game when our attack was probably the best it has been all campaign.
"There were passages of play where we played right out of our 22 and unfortunately we took the wrong option, but it was certainly better play from us."
While there was massive disappointment around drawing the match, had just one of the many opportunities they created resulted in a try, they would have achieved the bonus point win.
"A win would have been great, as would a bonus point, it certainly would have helped us in the long run as far as position on the log is concerned.
"I suppose if you look at the bigger picture, playing Free State away, in Bloem, a Currie Cup game where the Sharks have lost all their Springboks, you have to be positive to come away with a draw.
"More important for us though, is that we were looking for an improvement on how we play and we certainly got that."
An improvement at this stage is important as this weekend’s match against the Bulls at Loftus marks the start of the cross-section round, four difficult games to negotiate.
"It’s no secret that the other pool is a lot tougher than the pool we’ve just played in, so those cross-pool games are going to be really important.
"The Bulls away this weekend is a massive clash for us and we are going to have to be on top of our game if we want to win this one.
"But we have to look at the way the Bulls play as an opportunity rather than a threat.
"They do kick the ball a lot and if we can get into the same sort of attacking mode we had against Free State on the weekend, it could go well for us.
"And that means playing rugby in the right areas of the field - which we did do against Free State - and if the opportunities present themselves, then we will take them.
"We need to get continuity in the way we are playing at the moment."