'We have a good enough squad to do better than we are doing:' Sharks boss John Plumtree after third loss
Sharks coach John Plumtree has refused to blame his side's poor performance on the absence of its Springbok players as the franchise continues to falter in the early stages of the United Rugby Championship (URC) season.
The Bok-less Sharks remain winless after three rounds in the new URC campaign with no points next to their name.
This after they suffered a third successive defeat, going down 19-5 to Wales’ Ospreys at Twickenham in England on Friday night.
All the points were scored in the opening stanza as the Sharks failed dismally to stage a comeback in the final half.
They have also played and lost to Munster and Leinster on the road, their performance against Ospreys has been the worst so far.
The Sharks were very poor, and Plumtree agreed that they were the masters of their own downfall against Ospreys at the Stoop through their lack of discipline and horrible decision-making in crucial areas.
“It’s so frustrating, we started the game really well, scored a good try but our discipline was not good enough,” Plumtree said.
“We had to defend for long periods in our own 22 and they came away with a try.
“Then we got a line break and we made poor decisions, allowed them to get an intercept and score on the post and we gave away a soft try before halftime and were straight away 19-5 down and chasing the game in the second half, plus a yellow card,” he said.
“The fact is we weren’t good enough to build pressure and take our opportunities and also our discipline was a little worrying.
“We have to really look at ourselves because, as much as the Ospreys deserved that win, I don’t think they were much better than us. We should be doing a lot better.”
The Sharks, who scored first through Phepsi Buthelezi, are without stars Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Eben Etzebeth, Jaden Hendrikse, Grant Williams and new addition Vincent Koch who were all part of the Rugby World Cup-winning squad.
While it’s known how sharp the Sharks will be with these players available, Plumtree refuses to use that as an excuse for his side’s shoddiness.
“That’s right, but everyone has got their few players out,” Plumtree said.
“We have got a couple of injuries as well, it hasn’t helped, but I still believe we have got a good enough squad to do better than we are doing.
“I’ve called for some patience and it’s going to take time to build our game but some of the stuff that we can control, we are not controlling. That’s mainly discipline, decision-making and us being able to take some opportunities that we create.”
In the first half the Sharks were reduced to 14 men after Rohan Janse van Rensburg was sent to the sin bin.
The Sharks will travel to Italy’s Zebre for a clash next Friday that will kick off 7.30pm before they return home.
In the other game on Friday night, the Stormers suffered their first defeat of the season when they went down 20-9 to Glasgow Warriors in Scotland.
Before the defeat, the Stormers had recorded back-to-back victories against the Lions away and Scarlets at home.
The John Dobson-coached side will aim for a better result when they travel to Italy to face Benetton on Saturday, November 11 (5pm).