Du Preez pleased with Sharks sec­ond half show­ing

Daily News - - SPORT - DAR­RYN POL­LOCK

IT MAY not be on the same level, but a half time blast from coaches at El­lis Park, as well as Kings Park, got two teams over the line this week­end with Sharks coach Robert du Preez stat­ing that he was, of course, as calm as ever.

The Sharks, in fac­ing the Pu­mas in their sec­ond game of Cur­rie Cup, but per­haps the first game that they took se­ri­ously, looked like they couldn’t score a try even if it was shadow op­po­si­tion.

How­ever, a few min­utes into the sec­ond half and the switch had been turned on with the coach say­ing that he asked, po­litely, for his team to cut the mis­takes out.

I was very calm,” Du Preez grinned, re­mark­ing on the half­time talk that went down. “I said we have to cut the mis­takes out, and we needed to hang onto the ball, and put some phases to­gether.”

In­deed, a Sharks team packed full of ex­pe­ri­ence and power fi­nally knuck­led down and man­aged to get over the try line – four times for a bonus point – while also hold­ing the Pu­mas to zero.

“The first half was not good we made too many er­rors,” Du Preez said.

“The sec­ond was much bet­ter. The four tries we scored were re­ally good, and we kept them out – and that was one of our goals.”

It seemed as if the Sharks, de­spite pick­ing a team that have been to­gether through­out the year, needed a bit of time to find each other. Du Preez re­marked that there were still seven front line play­ers miss­ing – those who have left the Sharks, and those in Ja­pan – not to men­tion the two con­tracted Spring­bok props in Tendai Mtawarira and Coe­nie Oosthuizen.

“We are com­ing off a huge game last week,” Du Preez said of his team’s Su­per Rugby quar­ter fi­nal with the Lions.

“It is a new cam­paign, although they have al­ready had a game, but it is quite tough, and we have the seven play­ers that left us, with new com­bi­na­tions, but it is great I think it was a good start and we can build the mo­men­tum from here.”

The Sharks have a tough two weeks ahead of them as they play the Gri­quas up next, on Fri­day evening, then they face the Bulls on an odd Wed­nes­day evening fix­ture in Bloem­fontein be­fore a game against the Lions in Jo­han­nes­burg that same Sat­ur­day.

“Gri­quas will al­ways be tough, but this (against the Pu­mas) was a tough game and they never gave up, their de­fence was very good es­pe­cially in the first half. It is Gri­quas then the Lions and the Bulls,” Du Preez con­cluded.

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