Durban - The Sharks’ coaching staff have had their say about the lamentable first half performance against the Brumbies and on Tuesday it was the turn of the players to put their hands up and show accountability.
Captain Keegan Daniel said the players had “taken ownership” for a match in which they found themselves 26-3 down after 35 minutes, with the visitors having notched up the bonus point.
“We have taken responsibility, that’s all we can do because we’re the ones out there on the field, not the coaching staff.” Daniel said.
“The coaches put in all the hard work during the week in terms of preparation and analysis, and there’s not much they can do in the 80 minutes of game time, it’s up to the players.”
On Monday the players had a longer than expected review session of the game. Usually they watch clips of the game but this time they had to sit through the entire 80 minutes.
“We had a tough day on Monday, and we were honest with each other.” Daniel said. ‘We reviewed the game and every player knows where he stands, where he’s at and where he needs to improve. It wasn’t a good first half from us and we know that, everyone could see it clearly.”
The captain said the players had taken it on the chin and did not make excuses.
“The guys were straight forward with each other,” he said. “We were tough on each other from many different angles on Monday, but it’s not up to one guy to fix it or a group of players such as the senior guys.
“It does not help that we are missing influential players such as Bismarck du Plessis, Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel, who are in our leadership group and unavailable to us. The onus is on each individual because they all lead themselves on the field.”
The captain added that as a group the players had not put into place what they had done on the training field.
“We had a plan in place for game day and we did not execute it. You can’t train a certain way and perform differently. We’ve recognised where we’ve been poor and what needs to be done. It’s time for encouraging team-mates and holding onto the vision we have for the team.”
While acknowledging that the Rebels this weekend will have some quality Wallabies in their line-up, Daniel said this was a week of self-analysis rather than too much concern for the opposition.
“We can’t focus too much on them, we have a tough week to get through considering our performance last week,” he said. “Having said that, we need to put that defeat behind us now and move on. This is a new chapter and possibly some players might get an opportunity to play more than they have in the past and show what they’re capable of. You need 15 committed guys and that’s what we want to get.”