Sharks upbeat for home stretch

Mon, 20 May 2013 17:58
Large john plumtree gestures Large keegan daniel sharks pass Large riaan viljoen sharks try v

Sharks coach John Plumtree says breaking their five-match losing streak in their final game on tour has done wonders for the team’s morale.

Sharks coach John Plumtree says breaking their five-match losing streak in their final game on tour has done wonders for the team’s morale.

“Winning in Perth was important for many reasons," Plumtree said following the Sharks’ 23-13 victory over the Western Force in Perth over the weekend.

The win moved the Durban side into third place in the South African Conference and 10th overall. Plumtree admitted the result was a huge relief for the team and bodes well for the final four matches of the pool stages.

"The mood in the changing room's a lot better than it has been for the last five weeks. We lost two games before we left for the tour and obviously the tour hasn't gone all that well for us, we had a tough clash against the Chiefs, a loss against the Highlanders and the Reds were too good for us last weekend,” he said.

“Obviously that had an effect on the confidence of the boys so there was a lot of pressure on us tonight and I’m thrilled we came out on top. So it was hugely important for us and I'm really proud of the boys. It's been a tough road these last few weeks. We needed to get some confidence back into the players, so the victory brings plenty of relief.”

Sharks captain Keegan Daniel was pleased with the character the team showed to turn their fortunes around.

“I’m proud of the way the boys put their hands up, but hats off to the Force as well, this was a great encounter. It was tough up front and we’re happy with the win,” said Daniel.

“In this match, we wanted to be more clinical. The last few games we’ve been so far behind at half-time, we just wanted to give ourselves a chance in this match. We know we’re strong in the second half, we showed that in this match again, so I’m happy with the performance.”

Western Force captain Matt Hodgson admitted that the defeat rankled, especially considering his side’s early form in the match where they had the Sharks under the cosh, but could not make it count on the scoreboard.

“This is a young side still coming together and we just couldn’t complete when we needed to. We desperately need to convert that kind of pressure into points,” he said.

The Sharks clash with the Bulls at Kings Park on Saturday and have a bye next weekend before the Super Rugby season breaks for the June Tests.

They conclude the pool stages of the tournament with matches against the Blues (home), Bulls (away) and Southern Kings.  

The Force host the Highlanders on Saturday.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28