Sean Everitt. (Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency/Gallo Images)
Sharks head coach Sean Everitt’s disappointment was palpable
in his voice following their narrow 23-17 loss to the Cardiff Blues in Wales on
Saturday night – a game they admittedly should have won.
Victory would have added gloss to the Durban team’s first foray
into Europe with a second United Rugby Championship (URC) win, but defeat
consigned them to one win in four outings, like the Bulls and Lions.
The Sharks ran Cardiff ragged in the opening quarter of the
second half, a 20-minute spell spent cornering Cardiff like Tyson Fury to
Deontay Wilder in the 11th round of their heavyweight championship bout.
READ | Sharks rue missed penalties, goal-kicking opportunities in Cardiff defeat
However, unlike the “Gypsy King”, the Sharks
failed to land the knockout punch and spurned goal-kicking chances that would
have ramped up scoreboard pressure in the process.
“We are very disappointed with the result,” said
“The guys put in a lot of effort, particularly in the
second half [but] we weren’t clinical enough to get over the line.
“Had we scored one or two tries there, when we had the
opportunity, it would have been different.
“The guys were under the pump in the first half and did
extremely well to get ourselves back into the game, only for us to spill
opportunities close to the try line.
“Those are lessons learnt by the boys about being clinical
at the highest level and, at times, on this trip, we weren’t as good as we
should have been.
“Credit must go to Cardiff’s defence. With a bit of
luck, we could have won the game.”
South African franchises have more than a month off to
ruminate over their humbling – or is it humiliating? – four wins from 16
collective clashes in Europe.
Officiating was the talk of the town for most matches, but
the South Africans cannot claim to have put together impressive enough
performances to neutralise the refereeing factor.
The Sharks had their moments, and a few players, such as
flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain, grew their reputations overseas.
“One has to look at the tour as a whole. I believe that
all the South African franchises have made a remarkable improvement; it is
really tough playing away from home,” Everitt said.
“But we’ve grown a lot as a group. A lot of youngsters
had opportunities to play in Europe, which will stand us in good stead going
“We are looking forward to coming home and, hopefully,
playing in front of our fans come 27 November.”
The Sharks resume their campaign against Scarlets at Kings
Source by www.news24.com