Important win for Sharks

    2015-06-01 14:19

    Durban - After defeating the Reds the previous weekend, it was important for the Sharks to back up that victory with another against the Rebels.

    “It was an important result for us,” Director of Rugby Gary Gold told Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick after his team had defeated the visiting Rebels 25-21 at Kings Park on Friday evening.

    “It was a fantastic performance in the first half with how we dominated territory and our game management was outstanding from the halfbacks. However, we did not always finish off our chances which was quite frustrating, almost the story of our year. The pressure we put on them defensively gave us Lwazi’s (Mvovo) try and I thought Heimar (Williams) was outstanding when he came on.

    “Summing up my feelings, I’m really disappointed not to get the fourth try but very grateful for the win. I had hoped we had turned the corner in terms of character overseas and it was very important that even though we are out of competition that we still showed it matters a lot. It was a tough week off the field with injures.”

    Naming Ryan Kankowski and Willem Alberts in the starting line-up but then having to withdraw them at the 11th hour does not help the team’s preparations, but despite these disruptions, Gold did not wish to make a big deal of that.

    “It’s important that people don’t hear excuses from me,” he said. “Every team has injuries, some are great years when you have few, other years it’s many; it’s how the game goes. The game is getting tougher, faster, stronger and it’s intense out there. This is certainly the toughest competition in the world. It is very difficult and not part of your planning when you get setbacks but it is not an excuse for where we are; it is a contributing factor but not an excuse.”

    Gold explained that the reason for Alberts’s withdrawal was an on-going ankle niggle that just wasn’t coming right, “and you can’t force a guy to play on an injured ankle. He didn’t quite make it but should be fine for the Stormers. In Ryan Kankowski’s case, his knee flared up after training on Tuesday. He was fine before that, but I think he will also be okay for the Stormers.”

    Beast Mtawaria got a “lammie”, which was so sore he couldn’t continue, but that will require some physio and he should be fine

    Gold did however provide an update on Pieter-Steph du Toit who won’t be available for any Super Rugby action this year. “He’s coming along after major surgery and every week he doesn’t have to be put into the hustle and bustle of a game is another week that tendon can heal and repair. He won’t play.”

    There has been a lot of talk about the possibility of playing S’Bura Sithole at outside centre but he has really shone on the wing and Gold’s justification for retaining him on the wing makes sense.

    “He can play at centre as well, but I did not want to chop and change as much as possible, we wanted as many senior players as close to a young 10 as possible after Patrick Lambie got injured, so we wanted Frans Steyn and JP Pietersen to be near Lionel Cronje and Fred Zeilinga.

    “We were just giving S’bura more space to do what he has been doing. I don’t know if he would have been doing the same at 13 as he is on the wing, but whatever he is doing it is outstanding and it would be great to see him in the Bok squad. A coach should not have favourites, but S’Bura is certainly one of mine.

    “I just think he is a brilliant professional who works so hard and I am so happy to see him achieving what he is achieving.”

    The Sharks now enjoy a bye this weekend with various groups assigned to various workloads depending on their involvement and level of fitness.

    “Some players will come in and work, those who are a bit short of game time, others are playing club rugby. By and large a bit of down time and then hit the ground running for the last game.”


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