Rugby 3.9.2014 08:26 am

Sharks must improve basics – S’bura Sithole

FILE PICTURE: S'bura Sithole of the Cell C Sharks during the Absa Currie Cup match between Cell C Sharks and Toyota Free State Cheetahs at Growthpoint Kings Park on August 23, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

FILE PICTURE: S'bura Sithole of the Cell C Sharks during the Absa Currie Cup match between Cell C Sharks and Toyota Free State Cheetahs at Growthpoint Kings Park on August 23, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Centre S’bura Sithole believes the Sharks must start improving on their basics if they want to bounce back from their first Currie Cup loss of the season over the weekend.

The defending champions suffered a shock 32-22 loss against the Pumas in Nelspruit to drop behind the Mpumalanga side from second to fourth on the Premier Division table after four rounds of the competition.

“I think it’s just our basics and fundamentals that are letting us down,” Sithole said on Tuesday.

“We have a young group and the guys are learning every week.

“I think the individuals know what they’ve done wrong. The coaches have been working with them, so everyone’s on par in terms of what needs to be done.”

Apart from the errors, the Sharks’ promised expansive game has yet to materialise.

After they were criticised for being too kick-orientated during Super Rugby, the Durban side has made no secret of its desire to play with more ball in hand.

However, that has not yet happened and Sithole defended the way they were playing.

“It’s not like there’s anything wrong with our attack. It’s just that this past weekend the guys didn’t execute the way we would have liked to,” he said.

“So I think the focus will basically be the same.”

But he admitted that they do need to cross the whitewash more often. The Sharks have scored a paltry nine tries in their four games, the second-worst record behind the struggling Blue Bulls [eight], and they have only one four-try bonus point from the 34-17 win over the Pumas in mid-August.

“The opportunities are there and those we’ve missed have been from … small things.

“Hopefully, as the season goes on, … we can score more tries,” Sithole said.

“It [scoring four tries] is very important because that bonus point might get you into the semis and get you home advantage in a semi-final.

“But the guys are trying. We’re trying to win first before anything else. The other stuff will come.”

The Sharks face Griquas at Kings Park on Saturday when they will be aiming to bounce back from the disappointing showing at the Mbombela Stadium.

“Our focus this week is to fix the things we didn’t do right last week,” Sithole added.

“Things like our defence and maybe a little bit of our set-piece. The focus is just on ourselves and getting better as a group.”

The Sharks were dealt a blow on Monday when flanker Francois Kleinhans was ruled out for eight weeks with a broken hand and lock JC Astle was sidelined for three weeks with a hamstring strain.

Another loose forward, Etienne Oosthuizen, is a big doubt with an ankle problem.

– Sapa

 

 

 

 

 

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