Super Rugby

Gold enthused by Sharks line out




Sharks Director of Rugby Gary Gold says he was pleased with his team’s all round performance against the Stormers but specifically their line out.

The Durban Super Rugby franchise have joined the Brumbies as the only two unbeaten teams in Super Rugby and Gold said his team’s line out success could have been difference between victory and defeat in Cape Town.

“I guess respect is a funny thing,” he said. “It brings things out in you and we respect these two guys (Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du du Toit),” said Gold on the Sharks site.

“Obviously we know Pieter-Steph very well and Eben is colossal, and one of the things the Stormers have been very good at lately is their contesting at the lineouts.

“We had to go back to the drawing board and work hard, we had to think a little bit out the box and against a good team it doesn’t necessarily have to be pretty, but you have to win your possession. If they had got the upper hand in the lineouts, the result could have been very different.”

Gold was not just pleased with the line outs and he also praised the rest of the team. “Everyone played their part, we knew against such a good Stormers’ team that we were really going to have to work hard in the set-piece to at least get some form of parity. I’m really proud of the way the guys stepped up to the plate; they knew what was coming, they worked hard this week and the Stormers didn’t disappoint, that’s for sure.

“They are a great team, they play a great brand of rugby and they ask a lot of questions; Newlands is a very difficult place to come and get a result at. Going into half-time behind was a real concern for us, we needed to play smarter, to play in the right areas of the field and we needed to execute better. We did struggle in the second half and there is a lot for us to work on.”

Ultimately, it was a game of Stormers’ attack versus Sharks defence, not the ideal said Gold, but when you have to defend, then it must be passionate and accurate, and the coaching staff would not have been at all disappointed in that regard.

“We had to defend against wave after wave of Stormers attack, we had to defend substantially more than them, and the guys worked incredibly hard from a defensive point of view, showed a lot of character which I am obviously very proud of the guys for.

After three rounds, Gold reflected on where his team is, saying, “We spoke in pre-season about how important it was for us to get a good start, otherwise we could have had a repeat of last season. Besides a good start, a couple of those wins have come away from home as well. But it’s not going to get any easier, we have a short turnaround this weekend, against the Bulls at Loftus on Friday night.”

He confirmed that despite the intensely physical battle, there were no major injuries to report.

Hyron Andrews hurt his hand and Daniel du Preez had a sore hamstring, but are not greatly concerning.

The Sharks have also released an update on their injury list.

Francois Kleinhans – Expected to return mid-May.
Jacques Potgieter – Expected return in six weeks.
Jean-Luc du Preez –Expected to be available for selection next week.
Patrick Lambie – Expected to return mid-May.
Ruan Botha – Expected to return beginning of May.
Tera Mtembu – His return will be guided by his clinical response to rehab.

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