'It definitely was not a good performance by us but we must compliment the Sharks as they are a very good team, and I believe that they will come close to winning this competition.'
THERE was no hospitality extended in this weekend’s Currie Cup Premier Division fixtures as the hosts thrashed their visitors in all three matches with solid bonus point wins.
On Saturday the Blue Bulls outplayed the Golden Lions to run out 54-22 winners at Loftus Versfeld for their second bonus-point win in as many games, while Western Province crushed the Pumas 34-10 at Newlands.
Then on Friday the Sharks earned back-to-back home wins as they registered a dominant 41-3 victory against Tafel Lager Griquas at Kings Park.
The Kings Park win means that the Sharks move up to third place on the Currie Cup log with the Bulls and the Cheetahs ahead of them – but only on points difference, with the top three locked on 10 points.
Local supporters who had congregated to watch Griquas in action on Friday were badly disappointed after the hammering.
When interviewed one disgruntled fan who didn’t want to be named couldn’t help expressing his frustration. “Griquas were really pathetic, scoring only three points in the 80 minutes,” he said. “Their defence was poor, allowing the opposition to run in six tries.”
The supporter said he was also dismayed at the Kimberley side’s poor showing on attack.
“Griquas did, now and again, break through the Shark’s defence, but then they would either make basic errors of knocking-on, give away possession or hold on to the ball giving away unnecessary penalties even with a whitewash in sight!”
The common question on the lips of the supporters interviewed on Friday after the game was expressed by one fan who asked: “How are Griquas going to rectify these mistakes with their next tough game, against the Western Province outfit taking place on Wednesday?”
As can be expected, the Griqua coaching staff was not impressed at all with the Kimberley team’s implosion. “We were very disappointed with the way we played on Friday evening. Nothing worked the way we planned. We struggled in the scrums and line-outs and we were unable to execute our kicking game as we hoped we would,” said assistant coach Pieter Bergh.
Bergh also told the DFA that Griquas were outmuscled, even though they had been preparing for a physical encounter, saying that the Sharks intensity served as a Currie Cup wake-up call.
“The Sharks won the physical battle that I had spoken about before the match; we knew all along that they are a very physical outfit; but looking ahead we will have to be more physical and slow the ball down at the breakdown.
“This type of physicality was something we have not encountered this year – neither in the SuperSport Challenge nor in our first two Currie Cup games they played at a Super Rugby intensity and physicality,” the coach said.
Bergh, though disappointed, gave the hosts full credit for their performance.
“It definitely was not a good performance by us but we must compliment the Sharks as they are a very good team, and I believe that they will come close to winning this competition,” the coach said.
Sharks – Tries: Sbusiso Nkosi (2), Jeremy Ward, Jacques Vermeulen, Juan Schoeman, Cameron Wright. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3), Inny Radebe. Penalty: Bosch.
Griquas – Penalty: George Whitehead.