Currie Cup

Plumtree claims Sharks were Hi-Jacked

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Sharks coach John Plumtree says his side gave Western Province a seven-point start when Chris Jack scored a try a mere 22 seconds into their Currie Cup match at Newlands on Saturday evening.

Plumtree was speaking at the post-match media conference after his side suffered a 29-15 defeat.

“We gave them (WP) a seven-point start and as it turned out we were not able to recover,” said Plumtree.

Jack’s try came about after he charged down a Rory Kockett clearance at a loose scrum, five metres from the Sharks’ tryline. As the ball bounced about Jack snatched the ball and dived over for the first of Province’s two tries in the match.

“Our kicking game was not as long and accurate as theirs (WP) and in these (wet) conditions it was critical,” said Plumtree.

“We were not able to build pressure, and we were not aggressive enough.

“We were not able to take the ball up, we were a bit rusty.
 
“We lacked penetration but we know what the weaknesses were.
 
“We did not get the yardage.”
 
 Province coach Allister Coetzee said the victory would generate confidence in the team’s ranks, more so because it was a win over the defending champions.

“This win will give us confidence and I’m glad that the team stuck to the gameplan.” said Coetzee.

“There are areas where we need to improve and one of those areas is kicking but there was an improvement in the second half. “We have learnt that when it is wet at Newlands you can’t play rugby, you can’t spread it wide.

“We did try to place the ball in the corners and we did try to go wide on the odd occasion.
 
“It was noticeable that every time Willem de Waal kicked a penalty it lifted the side.
 
“Our finishing, well, we’ll have to see why we did not round off.
 
“Now that the first match is out of the way, we (WP) will have to focus on the Blue Bulls.”
 
WP skipper Luke Watson praised the efforts of the side’s tight five.

“For many years now it has been a criticism that the WP tight five was the weak link in the team but today they really fronted up to Sharks,” said Watson.

“Our two young props (Harris and Blaauw) have really put their hands up and its been phenomenal to see how they’ve stuck to their guns in the last few Super 14 matches, the British and now the Sharks.”

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