From there going forward was a lot easier
Brendan Venter may be moving on after a brief stint that lasted barely three months, but he will leave a lasting legacy in Durban.
Sharks captain Keegan Daniel, speaking after his team's emphatic 33-19 win over Western Province in the Currie Cup Final at Newlands, pointed to a meeting 13 weeks ago where the laid the foundations for their victory at the weekend.
It was a masterfully and tactically superior performance by the Sharks, who employed a rush defence and a skillful kicking game that left Province bewildered.
Given that Venter was very much "hands on" at training session in the last three months, despite being the Director of Rugby, it is not surprising that Daniel also heaped praise on the role he played in their Currie Cup triumph.
"With the announcement of John [Smit] as the new CEO a lot of changes were made - Brad [MacLeod-Henderson] and Sean [Everitt] came in," Daniel said, when asked about Venter's role and influence.
"They [MacLeod-Henderson and Everitt] are young coaches and learning at the same time as we are learning from them.
"To get a guy like Brendan [Venter] in, who is experienced, has been through this before at Saracens and we know how successful they have been as a team."
The Sharks skipper pointed to a meeting they had before the start of the Currie Cup season, where all the stakeholders sat down at the Sibaya Casino, with new coaching staff, new management and a new CEO .
There they outlined what it is they wanted to achieve and what they expected from each other, adding that there was always a believe in the players that they can go all the way and win the Currie Cup competition.
"I allude back to the meeting we had at Sibaya [Casino] 13 weeks ago," Daniel said, adding: Everything was laid out.
"They [management and coaching staff] asked us what we expected from them and they told us what they expected from us. There was clarity between what the players and coaches wanted and what we wanted from the union.
"[From there] going forward was a lot easier, because the honesty was there and there was transparency between coach and player."
He also expressed his support the much-maligned rotation system.
"A lot of people feel that isn't the way to go, but I feel that with the amount of rugby that is being played you need a squad.
"Teams win matches, but squads win championships.
"There are a lot of guys who might not have played in this game [the Final], but put their hands up during the season."
Now, with Venter moving on to continue his medical practice near Cape Town and his long-standing role with English giants Saracens, the baton will be handed over to Jake White.
By Jan de Koning