DURBAN – That one was for the Beast! So said delighted Sharks coach Robert du Preez after his charges had decimated the Lions 42-5 on Friday night with a sublime Super Rugby performance.
Tendai Mtawarira was celebrating his record-breaking 157th Super Rugby cap and Du Preez said the players wanted to ensure the big fellow had a night to remember.
“That was the Beast’s (Mtawarira’s) game,” Du Preez said. “I am just so pleased we could do it for him. The boys really wanted to do it for him. He is just an amazing person. The most humble person you could ever meet. He is an inspiration for his teammates. At the end of the day, the boys played for him.”
The Lions had no answer to the supercharged Sharks. And it was one-way traffic pretty much from first whistle to last. Du Preez, though, stopped short of calling it a complete performance.
"No performance is ever complete but that was a pretty good one,” he grinned. “It has been a long time coming for the boys, and they are very happy indeed that we finally got it together because the hard work has been going in.” Du Preez said the foundation for the Sharks’ slick performance on Friday was laid by the players getting the basics spot on.
“I thought our set pieces were outstanding. We got that right. Our discipline was also very good, we never gave away any silly penalties and that was very pleasing because we worked hard on that last week (after the previous week providing Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard with ample opportunities to kick for goal.”
With the forwards doing the hard yards, the Sharks backs shone, notably the sublime Curwin Bosch and Makazole Mapimpi, and centres Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am.
Du Preez, though, did not want to single out individuals on a night when it was all about the team.
Congratulations to #OurSharks Legend, @Beast_TM on reaching 157 Vodacom @SuperRugby caps and becoming the most capped South African Super Rugby player in history!#OurSharksForever pic.twitter.com/8Ew38veT3m— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) April 6, 2019