Hammett pleased with Sunwolves' growth

Sun, 17 Jul 2016 08:33
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REACTION: Outgoing Sunwolves head coach Mark Hammett is proud of his team's growth in what was their debut season of Super Rugby this year.

The Japanese outfit finished last on the combined Super Rugby standings, recording only one win in their 15 games.

However, after finishing their season with a 29-40 defeat in Durban against the Sharks in Round 17, Hammett believes that his players have shown improvement with each game.   

"A big part of our season was about being able to compete and for a big part of the season we did that," said Hammett. "I think we probably had five or six games where we didn't, but that means two thirds of our season we did, so we are pretty proud about that fact. 

"We had 10 days together before we got started. We had 34 players who were selected by a selection group and it was for us as a coaching group and a leadership group to pull each other together. 

"One of the things we can say is that every player to a man, even the more experienced players in the group, has improved and I suppose as coaches that is what we look to achieve."

Despite finishing last, Hammett, who will be joining the Highlanders coach team, believes that his side has more talent than some of the other teams in the competition.

"Every time we play a game or go to a new venue it is a first for us. Everything is a first. So the knowledge we've gained is huge. 

"The reality is that we have finished last, but if you look at where we are from a talent perspective, we probably achieved higher than maybe teams like the Force, Rebels and certainly the Kings. I think the Jaguares have maybe been better than us. 

"There is a lot to admire within this team, but obviously there is still a lot to do."


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