The Sharks have been a proudly performance-driven team under Sean Everitt and that is not going to change now that the pressure is piling on .Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images via BackpagePix
The Sharks have been a proudly performance-driven team under Sean Everitt and that is not going to change now that the pressure is piling on .Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images via BackpagePix

Sharks are not going to lose their identity

By Mike Greenaway Time of article published Oct 27, 2020

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DURBAN - The Sharks have been a proudly performance-driven team under Sean Everitt and that is not going to change now that the pressure is piling on to the Durban side after a heavy defeat to the Bulls.

Since Everitt took over as coach from Robert du Preez in July last year, he has said that results will take care of themselves if the performance is good enough. So far in Super Rugby Unlocked, the Sharks’ performances have been a far cry from the quality that saw them top the Super Rugby log in March, with a last-gasp win over the Lions in round one giving way to a hefty loss to the Bulls last week.

Now the Sharks travel to Nelspruit to play the plucky Pumas on Saturday and assistant coach David Williams says his team will stick to their guns in terms of how they want to play the game of rugby.

“We have a belief in the way we want to play and it is based on performance,” Williams said. “In Nelspruit we want to play an identity game, and a scoreboard game, but we are not going to lose our identity.”

Williams says a thorough review of the 41-14 loss in Pretoria reveals that there is nothing the Sharks cannot sort out in a week.

“Everything can be fixed,” Williams said. “We actually did a number of good things in that game, but the problem was that we seldom put together two good moments. We were like a yo-yo - we would do something effective and then it would be undone by something ineffective - while the Bulls were very good at stringing together good passages of play. Their execution was obviously much better than ours.”

Williams said that the poor moments in the Sharks’ game was not just down to player error.

“Credit must be given to the opposition for how they nullified us at times. Yes we were our own worst enemies at times but the Bulls were also very good,” he said.

Williams pointed out that the Sharks are also feeling the effects of losing some experienced players from Super Rugby earlier this year.

While he did not mention names, it is obvious that the experience of Louis Schreuder at scrumhalf, Andre Esterhuizen at centre and Tyler Paul at blindside flank is missed

“We are rebuilding the knowledge that left and sometimes that is painful - unfortunately sometimes pain is necessary for growth,” Williams said. “Departures open doors, though, and as a coach it is your job to groom the next generation.”

@MikeGreenaway67

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