As ever, Sharks re­main un­sta­ble

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MIKE GREEN­AWAY

THERE is one thing you can rely on re­gard­ing the Sharks in Su­per Rugby this year is that they are con­sis­tently un­re­li­able. If you were a bet­ting man, you could make a for­tune on the Sharks given their con­sis­tent trend of back­ing up a good vic­tory with a dis­ap­point­ing loss, only to re­spond pos­i­tively the next match.

But then they fail to pitch up the fol­low­ing game. This is what hap­pened this last week­end when a poor Bulls team pitched up at King Park with hunger in their bel­lies to face a Sharks team that sim­ply ex­pected to win.

The hun­gry team won, the team go­ing through the mo­tions lost.

Since when does a Sharks team go out onto the Kings Park pitch and play with less hunger than the vis­i­tors?

The prob­lem with the Sharks is that they are fan­tas­tic one game, and poor the next. They were su­perb in beat­ing the Storm­ers in the match pre­ced­ing this game, but then col­lapsed against a Bulls team that had more en­thu­si­asm.

Let’s look at how it started: in round one, the Sharks lost to a ter­ri­ble Reds team in Bris­bane and then re­sponded to beat the Brumbies in Can­berra.

With­out go­ing into the whole se­quence of Sharks games, that is their pat­tern. They are sim­ply in­con­sis­tent.

They are princes one week and pau­pers the next.

This last week­end, the Sharks were at home and ex­pected to beat a Bulls team that had won only three games the whole sea­son, but the vis­i­tors out-pas­sioned them.

A dis­grun­tled Sharks coach Robert du Preez said: “We were very dis­ap­point­ing. There was lit­tle in­ten­sity. We looked very dis­jointed. Most sadly was that the at­ti­tude was not there.”

Du Preez said the month­long break since the vic­tory over the Storm­ers at King Park meant noth­ing be­cause the Bulls had had the same break.

“We had Boks play­ers not avail­able be­cause of in­jury but the Bulls had the same, so we sim­ply have no ex­cuse,” he said. “We sim­ply had a lack of com­po­sure.”

There are some that say it might have turned out bet­ter for the Sharks had Du Preez played Cur­win Bosch at fly­half and Garth April at full­back, but the coach dis­agrees.

“I thought Garth had a good first half in the way he took it to the line, but he was a bit of a lone ranger,” Du Preez said. “The de­feat had noth­ing to do with the fly­half. The fact is that the team per­for­mance was un­ac­cept­able. We trained re­ally well dur­ing the week. We were ready, but men­tally just did not pitch up.”

The Sharks have a bye this week and then play the Lions in Dur­ban in the last round of the competition be­fore the quar­ter­fi­nals. The Dur­ban team have al­ready qual­i­fied for the play­offs hav­ing been as­sured of be­ing run­ners-up be­hind the Lions in Africa Group 2, but they might as well not pitch for the play-offs if they do not get their minds right. Manny Pac­quiao of the Philip­pines is struck by Jeff Horn of Aus­tralia dur­ing their WBO World Wel­ter­weight ti­tle box­ing match at Sun­corp Sta­dium in Bris­bane on Satur­day. The 29-year old Aus­tralian de­feated box­ing vet­eran Pac­quiao in an unan­i­mous de­ci­sion, with the judges scor­ing 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 in Horn‘s favour.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.