Sharks legends weigh in on coach Du Preez's future
Durban - Sharks legends Joel Stransky and Jacques Botes have weighed in on the debate of whether Robert du Preez should be fired or not as the coach of the
Following the Sharks’ disappointing Super Rugby season that ended in the
quarter-finals at the weekend, there have been talks suggesting that Du Preez’s
days are numbered.
Some reports have gone as far as saying the loss to the Brumbies in a
quarter-final on Saturday was his last game in charge, even though Du Preez’s contract is
set to run until after next year’s Super Rugby.
This was for the fourth year in a row the Durbanites had their campaign
end in the quarter-finals.
Stransky says Du Preez needs to make way for new ideas
that can be able bring back joy at King’s Park.
The former Sharks and Springbok flyhalf is struggling to understand why his
“friend” is failing to shine at the side, as he believes he has many talented
players at his disposal.
“Robert is a friend of mine, I’ve played a lot with him and I have respect
for him, but honestly the reality is he has coached a team that has not
delivered this season,” said Stransky.
“And ultimately the players need to be accountable and I would even go as
far as saying the management has to be accountable, but most of all the coach
“There is no doubt that with the talent he has at his disposal and all the
strength he’s got there, his team has not been good enough, which means in his
quest for success he failed.
“Is he capable of doing better next year? I’m not sure, I think when a coach
fails, and he’s got so much talent maybe it’s time for change.”
Former forward Botes believes Du Preez, who won the Currie Cup for the
Sharks last year, was hard done by a number of injuries to key players such as
Jean-Luc du Preez, Akker van der Merwe and Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira.
“It’s just disappointing to see that they weren’t able carry Currie Cup form
to Super Rugby. There was a lot of expectations for the team with the calibre
of players that they have,” said Botes.
“But also, I thought losing some players for the large part of the season,
guys like Akker, Jean-Luc has been in and out, you look at Beast as well. Those
things do hamper and some of those guys are key to the team, so it was
unfortunate for him.”
Botes thinks Du Preez might not have handled the pressure that was imposed
on him by media and that made things worse.
“As soon as the results don’t go
your way the pressure mounts and things started to go south quickly. I think
it’s a decision for the board to make that is he going to see through his
contract or make alternative decision,” said Botes.
“But it’s a tough position to be in as a Sharks coach, especially when you
are not getting the results that people are expecting.”