Sharks need to find their gears against Griquas for a chance at home Currie Cup semi

30 December 2020 - 16:00 By George Byron
Henco Venter of the Cell C Sharks during the Super Rugby Unlocked match between the Sharks and Toyota Cheetahs at Jonsson Kings Park on November 6 2020 in Durban.
Henco Venter of the Cell C Sharks during the Super Rugby Unlocked match between the Sharks and Toyota Cheetahs at Jonsson Kings Park on November 6 2020 in Durban.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Chasing the game and scoreboard pressure resulted in the Sharks losing their calmness when they slumped to defeat against the Cheetahs this weekend‚ assistant-coach Brent Janse van Rensburg said.

A 37-10 loss to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein‚ means the Sharks have some work to do if they want to qualify for a home Carling Currie Cup semi-final.

On Saturday the Sharks have a home match against the Griquas‚ which offers the Durban side an early opportunity to make amends for a below-par display at Free State Stadium on Sunday.

Janse van Rensburg stood in for head coach Sean Everitt in Bloemfontein because Covid-19 issues forced a late managerial change.

“Sometimes when you’re chasing a game you get into the mental space where you just try things at all cost‚” Janse van Rensburg said.

“Then you lose the calmness to perhaps change the car’s gears one gear at a time and not try to skip to fourth.

“Testament to that was right at the end where we gave the Cheetahs a five-pointer bonus point. If we kicked the ball out‚ we would have restricted them to a four-point win.

“We gave them that extra bonus point just because we were trying to play too much. That’s game appreciation. Even if we scored a try‚ we wouldn’t have gotten a bonus point out of the game.”

Janse van Rensburg pointed to areas where his team had allowed the game to slip out of their grasp.

“If we take the two kick-offs that we lost and we exit‚ and if we had not lost those lineouts we had on their try line in the second half – if we’d set the maul better. I also think we had one overthrow.

“Yaw Penxe was through for a try. He could have possibly been more selfish and dotted it down himself instead of passing it to Werner Kok.

“Had we scored that try‚ for instance‚ that scoreboard pressure would have taken the tension off. When the tension is off from scoreboard pressure it puts you in a different mental space‚ where you don’t feel you have to chase the game.”

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