Sharks coach Robert du Preez is not known for being a man that hides his annoyance very well.
As a result, it was a tad surprising to see him a tad more tolerant with his charges after they slumped to a 24-all draw against the Waratahs at King’s Park at the weekend.
It was a game the Durbanites should’ve won at a canter.
“I’m very frustrated,” said Du Preez.
“Look, it was humid which made handling difficult. But we left a lot of opportunities unconverted and our game management was poor.”
Despite not elaborating much on those thoughts, game management was arguably the main reason for the Sharks throwing the game away.
All three Waratahs tries came from mistakes as they simply failed to bolt the door when they got into winning positions.
“If there’s one thing we need to improve, it’s simply our patience. We saw with the few times the Waratahs spilled the ball that we did put them under pressure,” said Du Preez.
“But we just let them off the hook far too may times. The game was there for the taking and we just impatient to take advantage, right until the death. We’re playing too much rugby when we should be slowing things down.”
However, the general gloom can’t totally blanket the fact that the Sharks’ midfield of Lukhanyo Am and Andre Esterhuizen functioned well while the scrums were an improvement, especially once John-Hubert Meyer replaced the misfiring Thomas du Toit.
“There were some positives. We scored some good tries,” said Du Preez.
“I was happy with the scrums. It was the type of showing that will give the pack a lot of confidence.”