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Sharks happy for a break as Super Rugby put on halt

16 March 2020 - 11:20 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
The Cell C Sharks coach Sean Everitt happy with the break.
The Cell C Sharks coach Sean Everitt happy with the break.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) may have put an indefinite halt on Super Rugby proceedings‚ but the break is a welcome one for the table-topping Sharks.

The Sharks will stay at the top of the table in the interim after slugging out a 24-14 win against the Stormers at King’s Park in Durban on Saturday.

The Sharks were going to go on a bye after this week’s game against the Chiefs.

Due to the spread of the virus and the various means being employed by the various governments to contain the spread of the disease‚ that game and the rest of the matches won’t be taking place.

The early Sunday morning fixture between the Jaguares and the Highlanders was called off while the Australian derby between the Brumbies and the Waratahs took place in Canberra on Sunday morning SA time.

The Sharks coach Sean Everitt understood the unfortunate nature of the break and made peace with the fact it was beyond his hands.

“It’s a welcome break for us. Our guys are knackered. They gave it everything in this game and they’ve been doing this each week but we haven’t played a complete game‚” Everitt said.

“We’ve been good in some areas and weak in others‚ but where we’ve been good‚ that’s bailed us out. Our guys need the break.

“Unfortunately‚ we can’t host the Chiefs next week and I think the spectators would have loved to come and watch. That’s the way it is and we can’t control that. We’ll welcome the break.”

With the first-minute tackle in the air incident between Stormers flank Johan du Toit and Sharks scrumhalf Louis Schreuder headlining a game of unexciting ebbs and flows‚ Everitt said the safety of the players is paramount.

He shied away from commenting on what should have been the appropriate sanction for Du Toit‚ who was yellow-carded by referee AJ Jacobs.

“It’s difficult to say. We did look at it but my whole philosophy about rugby is to keep the game safe.

"Maybe that comes from me being a teacher and coaching younger players‚” Everitt said.

“We can all do better in making the game safer. Whether it’s a yellow or red card‚ that’s debatable. We lost a player and it was dangerous‚ otherwise‚ he wouldn’t have gone off.”

Everitt was impressed with his team’s effort in a game that could have been a potential banana skin for them considering the known strength of the Stormers’ forwards.

“We were under pressure during the week with regards to our set piece and playing against a Springbok pack.

"Our guys stuck to the task‚ there was a lot of adversity in the game but the guys hung in. All credit must go to the players‚” Everitt said.