Sharks coach Robert du Preez says Saturday night's draw against the Rebels was one of the worst ever performances he's seen at Kings Park. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
DURBAN - Oh to have been a fly on the wall in the Sharks’ dressing room when the players got their dressing down from Robert du Preez after their sorry 9-9 draw with the Rebels, but the coach did share one of his gems from what would have been a terrific tirade.

“I think the players should have gone back out into the Stadium and given the fans their money back,” the incensed Du Preez said.

“That was terrible, it is so disappointing. It was so bad. It is just not good enough when you represent a proud province like the Sharks. This must rate as one of the worst performances at Kings Park that I have ever seen.”

The Sharks had aimed for five log points at home against the bottom-of-the-log Rebels. Instead they were lucky to get two for the draw and now travel to Buenos Aires where the Jaguares will be smelling blood. 

The Sharks leave on Tuesday and they will almost certainly be without centre Andre Esterhuizen. He has been one of the Sharks’ best players this season but was the villain of the piece on Saturday night when in the 17th minute of the match he got himself red-carded for a tip tackle that ended with a Rebel head crashing into the turf. He faces a disciplinary hearing and it is likely that he will be suspended.

“That was just poor,” Du Preez said of Esterhuizen’s indiscretion. “Especially when the tip tackle came after the whistle had gone. It was very disappointing.

“Even with losing a guy, we had all the opportunities in the world to win the game but just stuffed them all up,” the coach said bluntly. “We had 20 entries into the Rebels’ 22m area. Plenty of those should have been converted into points.”

But the Sharks seemed panic-stricken. They were scrambling around like headless chickens. Du Preez agreed.

“There was a complete lack of composure. We do have a lot of experienced players in the team and they should have shown some proper leadership,” he said. “If this does not wake the players up (to take responsibility) I don’t know what will.”

The Sharks seemed to be confused as to whether to kick for goal or kick for the corners. When they should have taken the points they didn’t and they should have made much more of their domination of the Rebels pack.

“I think it was right to kick to the corners, and we in fact had a few tries disallowed, with one of them inexcusable because we had the try only for it to be disallowed because Ruan (Botha) had an arm around the neck of a Rebel in the build-up,” Du Preez said.

“The funny thing is that we pride ourselves on our discipline. We gave away just six penalties to their 18. But the penalties we concede seem to cost us dearly ...”

Perhaps the final words should go to Rebels coach Tony McGahan, who was full of beans at the press conference.

“We are very pleased to get out of town with two points.”

The Star