Building on Tour

The Cell C Sharks will be looking to put recent disappointments away as the team prepare for the next Vodacom Super Rugby challenge, against the Waratahs this weekend in the first of a three-match tour.

The Waratahs are perennial achievers in the Australia Conference and will, in all likelihood, be studying the video of Friday’s match against fellow Aussies, the Reds, in which the visitors ran out 21-14 victors at JONSSON KINGS PARK.

Reflecting on the game, Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez felt that despite the loss, there were some positives he could take out of the match.

“There were a couple of thoughts: one is that I believe the boys really put the effort in, you can’t fault that aspect of their play; I also thought we created a lot of opportunities, we just couldn’t execute from there,” he said.

The Reds managed two early tries in the opening quarter and this meant we were always playing catch-up rugby which put pressure on the team.

The team had fought back well, scored one try then late in the game, a second to make the margin only seven points. But ultimately time wasn’t on our side as the coach alluded.

“We gave away two really soft tries in that opening 20 minutes and that came back to bite us in the end.”

Du Preez admitted that a lack of patience was a worry for the team. That they created some superbly exciting opportunities is testament to the ability this team has, but this time those opportunities didn’t get the reward.

“We’re showing too much impatience,” he said. “The players need to be more patient with ball in hand.”

As the fourth home loss, he agreed that there is pressure on everyone.

“Obviously everyone is feeling the pressure. When you lose four games at home, it’s not great, especially for the fans, but also for the team and coaching staff. It’s disappointing.”

Despite the disappointment, the coach admitted the team remains positive.

“There’s certainly a positive feeling in the change-room, this was a big step-up from last week [against the Jaguares], and we now go on a three-week tour.”

He added that getting away from the pressure on home performances and an opportunity to bond as a team is often the best way to turn things around.

“Sometimes it’s really good for a team to build and grow that camaraderie on tour. I also believe that we have what it takes to come back from this.

“We need a massive game in our next fixture against the Waratahs.”