We needed this wake-up call: Du Preez
Sharks coach Robert du Preez said their 19-17 win against the Southern Kings was the necessary wake-up call ahead of tougher South African Super Rugby derbies that are to follow in the next two months.
The Sharks were behind the eight-ball for the best part of the game and they were trailing at half-time.
While Curwin Bosch's radar failed him when it came to converting the tries scored by Lourens Adriaanse and Kobus van Wyk‚ it responded when he needed to through his 71st minute long range penalty that saved the Sharks from a humiliating defeat. Du Preez was again sparing in terms of crediting his precocious utility back.
“I hope this was a wake-up call in a big way because we didn't play well. What was disappointing is that we were playing at home with quite a big crowd and that's the disappointment we have to deal with after this game‚” Du Preez said.
“That kick from Curwin showed that he's a class act and that he can handle the type of pressure he found himself under when he took the kick.”
Du Preez also defended Benhard Janse van Rensburg's selection even though the 20-year-old had an unexpected baptism of fire against a side that expected to ease him into Super Rugby. Janse van Rensburg was a controversial selection ahead of experienced and proven candidates like Innocent Radebe and Garth April. The latter steadied the ship in the second half. The Kings smartly targeted Janse van Rensburg's channel‚ his inexperience and his tactical kicking.
The last discipline failed him‚ along with his passing and his charged down clearance kick with plenty of space and time allowed Ruaan Lerm to score the Kings' first try.
It was a shift in momentum the Kings refused to relinquish for the best part of the game before the Sharks found a gear the Kings could not shift up to. Du Preez also acknowledged they need to be better for their trip to Bloemfontein on Saturday.
“It was a tough game and it wasn't easy for him. We couldn't get the forward and the set-piece dominance we were looking for so it was a tough one. He would have learnt a lot from his debut. I also thought Michael Claassens and Garth April played very well‚” Du Preez said.
“The disappointing thing was that we made so many handling errors and we were so good in the previous game. It's like we've gone a step backwards. I'm confident the boys will be back and up for it against the Cheetahs.”
- TMG Digital/Sunday Times