Du Preez pleased with Sharks second half showing
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.