First half was Sharks' worst of season
Cape Town - Sharks coach Gary Gold says his side's first half display against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday was the worst of their season so far.
The Sharks went into the half-time break 27-0 down after they were blown away by Johan Ackermann's men.
The visitors fought back well in the second period as the match ended 37-10, but the damage had been done already.
Fortunately for the Sharks, their Super Rugby fate is still in their own hands and wins against the Cheetahs and Sunwolves in Durban in the last two weeks of regular season will ensure a playoff position.
The bad news for Gold is that the Sharks could very well be traveling back to Johannesburg for their quarter-final.
Gold was holding nothing back after the match.
"That was comfortably our worst half of rugby that we’ve
played, that first half," he said, before finding some positives.
"What gives me hope is that at 27-0 down we had a
conversation at half time and we spoke about what could happen.
"I think many
teams in this competition at 27-0 down would have comfortably got 50 points
here against a team like that. The guys that were in the change-room at half
time said they weren’t going to roll over and that’s where I do want to give
the guys credit."
Gold was particularly disappointed in his side's error-rate in the first half.
"We knew what we wanted to do tonight; we just didn’t do that well enough," he said.
"With a team whose confidence is as high as the Lions’ is at the moment, playing as well as they are, when you make those mistakes they’re going to hurt you.
"I am happy that the guys never gave up.
"You’re not going to
take satisfaction and I’m never going to find any solace in the fact that we
got badly beaten tonight, but we’ve all been around long enough to see teams in
that situation that could have capitulated and we didn’t and that’s a sign of
the character of the guys."