Home Sport Rugby Sharks ready to build on good Currie Cup run

Sharks ready to build on good Currie Cup run

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Sharks co-captain and centre Jeremy Ward was in an ideal position to watch the old and the new square up to each other.

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ONE of the sideshows of the absorbing Currie Cup semi-final between the Sharks and the Cheetahs was the scrumhalf tussle between veteran Ruan Pienaar and rookie Sanele Nohamba.

Pienaar, who is in the twilight of a distinguished career, was up against a rookie who is fast becoming the talk of the town.

Pienaar coolly ran the Free State show while the plucky Nohamba was the catalyst for the three sparkling tries the Sharks scored in the first half, nabbing one himself

Sharks co-captain and centre Jeremy Ward was in an ideal position to watch the old and the new square up to each other.

“Ruan is a seasoned campaigner and he is showing he still has a lot to offer South African rugby, so for a guy like Sanele to go up against a hero he would have watched in junior school was quite something,” Ward said.

“Sanele was really good. He has been all season and that is credit to the work he has put in.

“He got his chance early in the Currie Cup and he took it, as simple as that,” Ward added. “He is a confident player with a good rugby brain. He still has a lot to learn and we will have a good Super Rugby pre-season for him to go from strength to strength.”

The Sharks collapsed in the final quarter of a match they had led by 12 points five minutes into the second half to eventually succumb 51-30.

“For 55 minutes we played really good rugby and I think we deserved our lead,” coach Sean Everitt said. “Then we started making errors and were not accurate in what we were doing. We should have been better in exiting from our 22. That put us under pressure.

“And then, of course, we can take nothing away from the Cheetahs. They were superb in the last 25 minutes … they were very difficult to stop but our defence also let us down in the later stages of the games.

Everitt said that he was satisfied that the Sharks have established a solid platform for Super Rugby.

“Very much so. We wanted to grow the team, grow the way we played and I think we have achieved those goals. I think that some individuals came through and showed they can step up to Super Rugby level, so that is very pleasing for us.

“There are a lot of things we can take out of this season. We wanted to grow the culture in the squad and we have made good progress in that regard.”