Sharks coach Du Preez 'can't condone' Akker behaviour
Cape Town - Sharks coach Robert du Preez says he cannot condone the actions of hooker Akker van der Merwe following Saturday's Super Rugby loss to the Bulls at Kings Park.
Van der Merwe and Bulls hooker Schalk Brits were both shown a straight red card in the 57th minute of the match after replays showed that Van der Merwe had instigated a punch-up.
Brits, though, retaliated with punches of his own and both players were sent off.
READ: Van der Merwe, Brits share a beer after red cards
It was the most heated of South African derbies, and the Bulls would go on to claim a vitally important 19-16 win.
Du Preez, understandably, was disappointed at the post-match press conference.
"Our possession stats and our territory stats were outstanding. We created a whole bunch of opportunities but at crucial times we made errors and that's what cost us," he said.
"These local derbies are always going to be tight. In the end it could have gone either way.
"Our discipline let us down and that last scrum of the game we should have survived. At crucial times we made the mistake and the Bulls capitalised on that."
On the punch-up, the Sharks coach said that there was no place in the game for such behavior.
"It's a tough one. In the heat of the moment those things do happen, but we can't condone that," he said.
"We've got to control ourselves better. That's not great."
Du Preez also refused to lay any blame on the TMO for a decision that came early in the match that saw an on-field try from Makazole Mapimpi disallowed after it was deemed that the ball had just kissed the touchline.
"It was tough and go, but the TMO looked over it a couple of times and I am sure he made the right call on that," said Du Preez.
"We did everything to win the game, but win the game."
The Sharks are next in action on Friday night when they travel to Johannesburg for a date against the Lions.