Sharks coach Sean Everitt would have been seeing his life flash before his eyes when Griquas flyhalf Tinus de Beer kicked his team into a 33-31 lead with just enough time left for a restart.
ONCE more it was “cometh the hour, cometh the man” for the Sharks when Curwin Bosch calmly nailed a post-hooter penalty on Friday night to nudge his team home 34-33 in Kimberley.
Coach Sean Everitt would have been seeing his life flash before his eyes when Griquas flyhalf Tinus de Beer kicked his team into a 33-31 lead with just enough time left for a restart, but his players then coolly fought their way into a position to win a penalty to set Bosch up for his heroics.
The week before, against the Cheetahs, Bosch had also kicked brilliantly to secure his team the victory.
“We are very happy with the win,” a relieved Everitt said. “It is not something you get easily in Kimberley and this match was an example of that.”
The obvious positive for the Sharks is that they had the fire in their bellies to make a sensational comeback in a game that Griquas seemed to have in the bag.
“At 27-13 down, we were staring down the barrel with 20 minutes to go, so I thought the guys did really well to stick to the processes and eventually claw their way back into the game,” Everitt reflected.
“And then at 31-30 we were on top but unfortunately some poor game management saw us playing rugby in our own half and giving away a penalty.”
But the Sharks did not give up and displayed immense fortitude to manufacture the last-gasp winning points. “It just shows what can be done when the guys stick to the plan and I think there is a lot of calmness in this group, not to mention character.”
With only seconds left on the clock, Bosch took a short kick-off and flying wing Sbu Nkosi did a wonderful job to pluck the ball out of the air. The possession was taken neatly through the phases until the penalty was forced.
“I am very proud of Curwin for his BMT – the way he is kicking at the moment is superb.”
Everitt added that while he is delighted to get the win, his team’s set-piece needs a lot of work.
“We had made huge improvements over the last few weeks (in the set pieces) but unfortunately it didn’t go our way in that department tonight.
Griquas are a desperate team
“We must also remember that Griquas are a desperate team,” Everitt observed.
“They ran the Bulls close – they could have won that game. And against us they were outstanding. They can be proud of themselves for the commitment they showed on defence.
“Scott Mathie has done a good coaching job, and sometimes you feel for the opposition, but I am proud of my team for the way they fought back.”
Tafel Lager Griqua’s coach Scott Mathie told the DFA that the loss was hard to process, although it was not all doom and gloom.
“A heartbreaking result and a bitter pill to swallow. I cannot fault the players for their work rate and their effort,” Mathie said. “They really did put their bodies on the line and I was very proud of that. Our scrum function was very good, our set pieces and our line-out were extremely good.”
Mathie said that they were close to nailing down a win. “Defensively we were more resolute and definitely the areas we are improving in, but we still need to learn how to win a game. The game plan management aspects in closing out a game and conceding points after scoring a try, where our restarting needs some attention.
“You know we have new younger players, who need to learn these things to become top players, which we will have to address that aspect and take a lot of heart and prepare for the Cheetahs game next weekend,” the coach added.
Additional reporting by Dave Alexander