DURBAN - It is not too often that the Sharks coach, Robert du Preez, will freely sing the praises of his side, but after they beat the Griquas 40-22 in Kimberley, he was happy to see his call for improvement headed.
Last week, against the Pumas away in Nelspruit, the Sharks managed to get the win, but needed a late try. It was not the performance of a team that was looking to win the Currie Cup.
Du Preez said in the week that he was looking for a dramatic improvement in a lot of areas of the game, and in their last away game before three home matches leading to the play-offs, the coach got what he wanted.
“It was a huge improvement from last week and I have to commend the guys on their attitude and their intent going into this game,” Du Preez beamed. “We knew it was going to be a tough game in Kimberley, so I was pleased with the result.”
The Sharks showed incredible skill and confidence in the way they moved the ball around. Forwards and backs played with verve and vigour, and the Griquas were often left scrambling.
“I think we made them look ordinary at times, but there is still one big work on for us, and that is our conversion rate on the opposition 22,” Du Preez added. “We had about 17 odd opportunities, and we only executed about seven, so that is way too low.
“Another one will be the individual errors, but it was a nice improvement from last week. A big part of it was how we prepared during the week as there was a really good vibe in the team.”
The Sharks head back to Durban for the remainder of the competition - if all goes to plan. They have the Bulls, Lions and Western Province at Kings Park, and then hopefully a home semi-final and a home final to follow, should they top the log.
While the Cheetahs are still in second on the log, they are a paper tiger threat with the expectation that WP should be the ones to watch in terms of a threat to the Sharks. However, they came unstuck on Friday evening to the Pumas as they fell 22-12 in Nelspruit.