‘Speechless’: Legend lays into Sharks

    2016-07-23 15:26

    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

    Cape Town – Shocking, senseless, speechless … those were some of the unflattering words from long-serving former Sharks favourite Stefan Terblanche as he summed up their 41-0 Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-final humiliation at the hands of the Hurricanes in a wild, stormy Wellington on Saturday.

    Despite the awful conditions, the home side managed six tries and turned the screws ever more ruthlessly after leading 13-0 at the break.

    Terblanche, a 37-cap Springbok whose Sharks career spanned more than a dozen years as a utility back, pulled few punches in the SuperSport studio afterwards: “I’m speechless … bitterly disappointed, to be brutally honest. It was a shocking performance by the Sharks.

    “Sometimes we don’t like listening to the New Zealand commentators – they are (frank) and we think they are biased at times -- but Justin Marshall said it: with 10 minutes to go, 34-0 down, the Sharks still select, I don’t know whether by choice or game-plan or whatever, to just kick the ball away.

    “There was some really senseless kicking.”

     Terblanche was less than complimentary about the visitors’ defending, too: “The ‘Canes made 94 tackles (to 72) so it shows you the Sharks actually had the ball for good periods of time, but it was what they did with it, or rather didn’t … and 21 missed tackles by the guys; it’s a big percentage out of 72.

    “The Hurricanes were full value for their 41 points, outstanding. They played the conditions so much better, played the situation.

    “When one of Beauden Barrett or TJ Perenara, who are world-class, plays well in a quarter-final you know the ‘Canes will have a good day – when both play like they did, and allow the space to open up, it makes for a long, long day for the Sharks, and for us to watch.”

    Another retired Bok and former Sharks icon, Butch James, was barely less scathing.

    “It just looked on defence as if the Sharks had two or three men off the field or something … the Hurricanes seemed to have extra players running around.

    “The Sharks allowed in some soft, easy tries and poor decisions were made on defence.

    “Also on attack, I’ve got to agree with Stef … I just don’t think they had enough in their armoury.

    “They only had the pick-and-go with the forwards, and when it got (past flyhalf) they had nothing to show. The skill level from the Sharks was not up to scratch.”

    *Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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