The Hurricanes showed on Saturday why they’re so dangerous at home and why achieving a result in Wellington over the last few years has been difficult for South African Vodacom Super Rugby sides.
Despite the game deadlocked at 17-all at the half-time break, the hosts managed to pull clear to wrestle a win and condemn the Cell C Sharks to our first loss of the competition.
“We’re very disappointed with the result of the match,” said head coach Sean Everitt after the conclusion of the fixture.
“We’re not looking for excuses, obviously there were interruptions with regards to injury,” he pointed out.
“Thomas du Toit pulled out before the game and then Boeta Chamberlain and Makazole Mapimpi both going down early as well.”
Despite these complications and having a replacement scrumhalf forced to play in the unaccustomed position of flyhalf with your first choice at home due to a family bereavement, the Cell C Sharks performed admirably against the odds.
“I think the guys did well to stay in the fight,” said Everitt. “A few individual errors cost us four tries, but these are youngsters and they’ll learn that mistakes like these at Super Rugby level will be punished.”
The coach also praised his team’s fighting spirit in a game where they clawed their way back nicely to cancel out the bonus point for the Hurricanes.
“I’m very, very proud of the fight the guys showed, right until the end of the game; they never gave up even though we had senior players out and off the field.”
Everitt was upbeat about the potential in the side and the skill and talent they showed. This all bodes well for the coming weeks.
“But there’s a lot to look forward to, there were some really good phases and passages of play and we’ll look at that for positivity.”
The Cell C Sharks have now taken a flight across ‘the ditch’ into Australia for the final two matches of the tour, looking to close out on a high.
“We’re looking forward to bouncing back against the Rebels in Melbourne,” he said. “Unfortunately both Boeta and Makazole are struggling with concussion and we’ll have to check their concussion protocols to see where they stand.
“Curwin Bosch will also be back with the team and that’s a boost for the team. In saying that, Sanele Nohamba playing at flyhalf for the first time at Super Rugby level did a magnificent job.” Saturday’s round four clash with the Rebels has an early start on Saturday morning, with a scheduled kick-off of 5.45am.