Sharks got caught napping

Sat, 26 Apr 2014 08:46
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Sharks boss Jake White admitted that his table-topping side got caught out by the Highlanders who became the first team to win at Kings Park this season.
 

Sharks boss Jake White admitted that his table-topping side got caught out by the Highlanders who became the first team to win at Kings Park this season.

The visitors outscored the Sharks by four tries to nil to wrap up a valuable bonus-point win at the start of their tour, whilst the Sharks now head  overseas with plenty to think about.

White admitted that his side was outplayed and outsmarted by the team from Dunedin who took advantage of a sluggish performance from their hosts who battled to get any momentum going.

"We weren't at our best and they played really well against us - take nothing away from this performance by the Highlanders," White said.

"Sometimes when we needed to kick we ran, and sometimes when we needed to run we kicked."

The competition leaders missed a golden chance to consolidate their number one position on the overall standings against one of the worst New Zealand teams, going down 34-18, with the visitors dominating against their below-par hosts.

"It was tough. They bossed at the breakdown, they didn't allow us rhythm, they didn't kick out, they didn't give us any set-piece ball, the handling wasn't good."

Richard Buckman, Aaron Smith and Shane Christie all scored tries in the opening 40 minutes, before Malakai Fekitoa's superb solo second-half score wrapped up a bonus-point win.

Despite the Otago outfit dominating, the Sharks were kept in the game by the boot of rookie flyhalf Tim Swiel, who kicked six penalties in total, right until the final 12 minutes.

"At 24-18 we still had opportunities," White said.

"We dropped an overlap on the left when it was three on one and we dropped one on the right hand side. We weren't as good as we should have been."

In their defence, the coastal side were dealt a blow before kick-off when both captain Bismarck du Plessis and Jean Deysel were ruled out through injury. Replacements Kyle Cooper and Ettienne Oosthuizen as well as S'bura Sithole and Jannie du Plessis all appeared to pick up knocks during the game.

"It's massive when you lose your captain and you lose the guy who sets up your whole scrum," White said.

"But what comes out of that is you start to realise how important certain players are and players who do get an opportunity need to be ready when they get called upon.

"I'm not saying anyone wasn't, but it gives us an opportunity in the next couple of rounds to make sure that we've got the right combinations going forward."

The result came at a critical time for the Sharks - in their final home match before they travel to Australia and New Zealand to face the Rebels, Brumbies, Crusaders and Blues.

"It's not an ideal way to set off on tour, but it's highly unlikely teams are going to be unbeaten throughout the competition," White, whose side are now just a point clear at the summit, said.

"You've seen how tough this competition is and people have realised that no matter who you're play against, it's tough to win.

"When you win you take all the pleasantries and accolades that go with it but when you lose, you've got to dust yourself and get up."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10