Du Preez: There was just no effort
REACTION: Sharks head coach Robert du Preez blasted his players for their lack of effort in their 10-27 defeat to the Lions at Kings Park on Saturday.
Even though it was not one of the Lions' best performances this year, the Johan Ackermann's team always looked in control in Durban against the Sharks.
The win meant that the Lions finished on top of the overall Super Rugby standings and they will face the Sharks again next weekend in a quarterfinal at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
"That is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel that there is a second chance next Saturday in Johannesburg, but I am not happy with the way we played," said Du Preez after the match.
"There was just no effort."
Du Preez was disappointed with his side's lack of fighting spirit during the 80 minutes against the Lions.
"I don't mind losing if you've given your best - I think everyone would be happy with that. Our fans would be happy with that too," said Du Preez. "But if you come out here and you just get beaten up like we did tonight [Saturday] and you make so many errors, that's just not good enough for the Sharks."
Du Preez added: "There is no doubt that this [Sharks] is a good rugby team with very talented players, but you got to look at your mental state of mind and how switched on the players are mentally.
"I guess in the back of the player's mind there was the thing about travelling to New Zealand, which could have played a role, but not to the extent of what happened to tonight."
Du Preez knows that his side will have to be more direct and show a lot more more passion on the field if they are to stand any chance of upsetting the Lions next weekend.
"We had actually two very good training weeks. I was very pleased with the way we trained, so the effort was certainly there at training.
"I could listen on the ref's mic and the Lions on the field were just a lot more vociferous than we were. So, I think we went into our shell a little bit and we just couldn't get out of it," he added.
2017 Super Rugby Quarterfinal Draw:
QF1: Lions  versus Sharks 
QF2: Crusaders  versus Highlanders 
QF3: Stormers  versus Chiefs 
QF4: Brumbies  versus Hurricanes 
Quarterfinal Match Schedule (all times local):
Friday, July 21: Brumbies v Hurricanes, Canberra - 19:35
Saturday, July 22: Crusaders v Highlanders, Christchurch - 19:35
Saturday, July 22: Lions v Sharks, Johannesburg - 14:30
Saturday, July 22 Stormers v Chiefs, Cape Town - 17:00
Pre-determined draw as follows (highest ranked team to host):
SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF4
SF2: Winner QF2 v Winner QF3