White: Ugly wins are necessary
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 09:59
We didn't play any rugby
Jake White conceded his team's ugly victory over the struggling Cheetahs in Durban was evidence enough that there are no 'free games.
The Sharks stretched their lead at the top of the tournament standings to six points with an unimpressive 19-8 victory at Kings Park.
"It wasn't pretty," White said.
"The message I gave the players afterwards was that sometimes you have to win ugly.
"Let's not forget that a year ago we lost to that Free State side and it was almost a re-run of what we expected they were going to do this time.
"So it wasn't ideal and there were obviously things that we didn't get right, but anyone involved in rugby will tell you that you that sometimes you play badly and win, you get a lot out of that as well.
"What the performance does also show is you're not going to get any free games in this tournament, no matter what people think."
Jean Deysel scored the only try for the hosts, which came late in the game to secure the win, after Ryno Benjamin's 65th minute score had briefly given the visitors hope in the match.
Eleven of the home side's other points came from the boot of Frans Steyn during the second half.
"They defended well, but to be fair we didn't play any rugby, so it wasn't difficult to defend against that," White said.
"I don't think we asked enough questions."
The Sharks boss felt there were a number of reasons that contributed to their poor showing, including the respect showed by the Cheetahs.
However, the biggest could have been a lack of cohesion in their backline, which included three debutants.
Flyhalf Tim Swiel, along with wingers Tonderai Chavhanga and Jaco van Tonder, made their run on debuts.
"Let's not forget this was our third 10 we played in three weeks," White added.
"To be fair and not putting pressure on him, it was always going to be difficult to get some rhythm and some continuity going when you got a number 10 making his first start.
"We had him and both wingers starting in their first games for the Sharks, so that disruption does play a role."
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