White: Sharks victory over Lions is a significant win




Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White believes they have passed an important test by securing their first away victory in Super Rugby when they beat the Lions 12-25 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

The Sharks have played all but two of their matches away from home and their first away match this season ended in a 23-19 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria.

Away victories have been difficult to come by for most of the teams and White believes their victory over the Lions further confirms the Sharks as one of the leading teams in the competition.

The coastal side took four points from the match to open a nine-point gap between them and the Bulls, the nearest South African rival in the standings, while they have two points over the second-placed Brumbies, and a game in hand.

While Sharks director of rugby Jake White believed his charges should have closed the match down sooner, he was nevertheless satisfied with their first away victory.

“If you look at the competition generally teams don’t win away from home…if you look at the nature of the competition it is very hard to get away wins,” White said.

“So any away win, no matter if it is a home derby, or if people think the one team is stronger than the other, is significant.”

The sides went into the half-time break 6-all despite the Sharks dominating both in terms of territory and possession.

“I am happy that we had to put everything into it to get the result, at 6-6 some teams would have let the home team take the advantage there,” White said.

“I thought we played enough rugby to be better than 6-6 at half-time, they got into our half twice in the first half and got six points, at that stage we probably had 70 percent possession and territory but we didn’t manage to finish off.

“Credit to them, they scrambled well (on defence), they covered well for each other and made it hard for us to get over the line.”

The Sharks suffered an early setback when flhyhalf Fred Zeilinga was forced off the field in the 18th minute with a hamstring strain.

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