Sharks coach Robert du Preez gestures shortly before his team's loss to the Rebels on Friday. Photo: EPA/TRACEY NEARMY

DURBAN - It goes without saying that the Sharks were massively disappointed in getting thrashed 46-14 by the Rebels at the weekend, and coach Robert du Preez has said from Auckland that the coaching staff take full responsibility for the Super Rugby loss.

“It is devastating and it is something we have to fix as a coaching staff, starting first and foremost with me as coach,” Du Preez said from Auckland where the Sharks are preparing for their match on Saturday against the Blues.

Log points are vital against the Aucklanders and also when the Sharks finish their tour against the Hurricanes in Wellington next week.

The Sharks are starting to lag behind in the competition, even if it is only round six, because they are 10 points behind the log-leading Lions in the South African Conference. 

It helps all the South African teams that no one local is grabbing the reins sprinting forward. Each of the SA teams is having their share of losses, and the SA team that can nail overseas wins will earn a valuable advantage.

A Sharks win over the Blues on Saturday will be of serious significance in their conference.

When they return after having finished their tour against the Hurricanes, they have home derbies against SA teams in the Bulls and Stormers.

Those games will make or break the Sharks, especially if they come home from New Zealand having lost all four games on tour.

“It is very tough to lose these games on tour but the positives it that there was a lot of effort,” Du Preez said. "Accuracy was lacking and the guys have to nail the opportunities, and they all know that. 

“We have had some tough discussions about what went wrong and we feel that we are far not from clicking. We are in high spirits and we want to fix this and go forward as a team. We are confident that we can do this.”

The Mercury

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