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Port Elizabeth – Tryless in two successive Super Rugby matches, Sharks coach John Plumtree is confident the side will improve during the competition.
In an arm-wrestle at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, the Sharks outlasted the Southern Kings 21-12, but had to rely on the accurate boot of flyhalf Pat Lambie (six penalties and a drop goal) for their points.
The Sharks came close to scoring on several occasions, twice being held up over the line and also being called back for a forward pass after fullback Louis Ludik had crossed in the left-hand corner.
Plumtree said his team knew they had to score tries to win the competition.
“We were pretty conservative and it looked like we are bit scared to lose,” said Plumtree.
“But we have to unleash the demon and start playing some good rugby.
“In this competition, unless you score some tries you are not going to win it and we know that, and we have some time to fix that up. We will get better.”
As in their opening match against the Western Force, the Kings were again superb on defence, which was acknowledged by Plumtree.
“I don't want to do the Kings any injustice. They were outstanding in defence. I didn't think we would run away with it coming down here because Super Rugby is tough and the Kings have a point to prove.
“They have some proud guys in their team, so let's give them some credit; we were pretty poor, but they were up for it.”
Acknowledging that the defensive system was again effective, Kings skipper Darron Nell conceded they needed to do more with their possession.
“The boys gave it a good effort,” Nell said.
“We could not keep ball in hand long enough, but there was no lack of effort in defence, so that was great. For every week we want to grow and want to learn from every match, so we will look at the video on Monday and see where we went wrong.
“On defence, the guys are sharp and keen, and working hard, but we need a bit more composure with ball in hand and that will come with experience.” – Sapa