AUDIO: Coach 'unhappy' with impatient Sharks
AUDIO: Coach 'unhappy' with impatient SharksSHARE
The Lions recovered from conceding an early try to lead 14-7 at half-time.
A Lionel Mapoe try – sandwiched between scores by Sibusiso Nkosi and Makazole Mapimpi – left the game delicately poised at 21-19.
However, a crucial score just before the hour – when flank Albertus Smith rolled over to dot down – proved to be decisive in as 26-19 scoreline in favour of the home team.
Sharks coach Robert du Preez will be sweating over injuries to Daniel du Preez (who left the field just before half-time with a shoulder complaint) and Armand van der Merwe (who suffered a hyper extension of the elbow in the dying minutes).
"I don't think it is too serious," the coach said, when asked about his son's injury.
He was also not certain what the extent of Can der Merwe's injury.
They will have more clarity on Monday, once both had seen the medical staff for further tests.
Du Preez snr was more concerned about the team's inability to close out the game, after building up some good momentum and creating numerous opportunities.
"It is never good to lose in such a way,"the coach said, adding: "Especially when we created so many opportunities."
Du Preez said the defeat was not through a lack of effort, but rather the execution was the issue.
"We created opportunities and then we didn't execute well.
"We lacked patience at crucial times, so I'm not happy with that," the coach added.
"This was a Super Rugby game and we played against a quality side.
"You have to look after the ball."
He also bemoaned his team's ability to recover from a couple of early scrum penalties, which put them under pressure.
"No consistency ," the coach said, adding: "After the first scrum, we really battled to get back into it and regain our composure.
"It is always tough when your pack goes back like that."
He admitted that prop Thomas du Toit's transition to tighthead will require hard work.
"He needs time,"Du Preez said.
"There are going to be obstacles along the way. He will only get better, playing at tighthead."
The Sharks have a bye this coming week, before they resume their campaign with a home game against the Waratahs on March 3.
By Josh Isaacson