Praise for motivated Sharks
Durban - Outgoing assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards credited his Sharks players for not lacking any motivation on their way to a 58-13 hammering of the Kings in their final match of the Super Rugby season on Saturday.
The KwaZulu-Natal franchise outclassed and outscored their opponents by 10 tries to two in a match that was a dead rubber at Kings Park.
"It could have been one of those games where we fought for a win because we didn’t get up for the match, but the players picked it up and finished off what we wanted to get done and hats off to them," Reece-Edwards said.
As it happened: Sharks v Kings
"Anyone wants to win a game and obviously we wanted to finish with a good win, as did the team.
"The fact that the Kings brought the side they did (with 12 changes) certainly wasn’t something that was going to sway our guys in terms of the way we wanted to play and what we wanted to get out of the game."
Marcell Coetzee, Bismarck du Plessis, Odwa Ndungane, a penalty try, Riaan Viljoen, Tendai Mtawarira, Louis Ludik, Keegan Daniel, Fred Zeilinga and Meyer Bosman were all responsible for the home side's scores.
The Kings' tries came via George Whitehead and Mpho Mbiyozo.
The result meant the Sharks ended an injury-ravaged season in eighth spot, with the Kings completing their maiden Super Rugby campaign in bottom place and without victory in a South African derby.
"We can blame injuries, but the depth in this team is not bad," Reece-Edwards said.
"They have played a part, but we have good depth.
“We probably lost two or three games we probably shouldn’t have and that swings things around. It was those couple of games we let go.
The match was Reece-Edwards’ final one along with Grant Bashford as their contracts were not renewed by the union, along with John Plumtree, who had already stepped down last month.
"I have no plans as yet, I’ll see where I’ll go," Reece-Edwards said.
"Coaching is in my blood and that’s where I want to stay."
Bashford said while the change in coaching staff was not a performance-based issue, he felt the time was right for change.
"It happens to all coaches, it’s just a matter of when," Bashford said.
"If you had asked me to sign on the dotted line when Dick Muir pulled me in in 2006 and said I’d still be here in 2013, I’d have taken it.
"I’ll always be involved in a rugby team, it’s just a matter of where."
Brendan Venter is set to take over the reins in a director of rugby role from the start of the Currie Cup season next month.
The Kings, meanwhile, will have to shake off the loss as they have to prepare for the double-legged promotion/relegation matches against the Lions in two weeks’ time.