Gutsy Sharks finally showing consistent mettle

Sharks' Daniel du Preez (C) looks to get a pass away during the Super Rugby match between New Zealand's Crusaders and South Africa's Sharks in Christchurch on May 3, 2019. (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP)

Sharks' Daniel du Preez (C) looks to get a pass away during the Super Rugby match between New Zealand's Crusaders and South Africa's Sharks in Christchurch on May 3, 2019. (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP)

Robert du Preez says their denial of a rare victory in Christchurch was ‘heartbreaking’, but a draw still felt like a win.

You can see the resolve of the squad by the way they’ve played in the last two weeks,” Sharks coach Robert du Preez said after his team’s hopes for a famous victory in Christchurch were denied by an after-the-hooter try as the Crusaders snatched a 21-21 draw in their Super Rugby match.

The draw is nevertheless an excellent result for the Sharks as they became the first team in 26 matches to not lose to the Crusaders at their home and, being built on a phenomenal defensive effort, just a week after they showed tremendous physicality to beat the Waratahs in Sydney, it shows the team morale must still be very good, despite some loud criticism coming out of Durban about Du Preez having allegedly lost the team.

“The team are disappointed not to win, although winning here is really difficult and we’re pleased to come away with two points. You can see the resolve of the squad by the way they’ve played in the last two weeks and getting a draw here will be a big confidence boost.

“The boys were already in a good space after last week, so it was really good to back up that win with this performance,” Du Preez said.

The Sharks coach also conceded that the Crusaders were probably good value for the draw, even though it took an 82nd-minute try and conversion by flyhalf Mitchell Hunt to snatch a share of the spoils.

“It was heartbreaking, but I guess you can’t argue against three tries to none. We battled to get our hands on the ball in the second half and territory was against us as well,” Du Preez said.

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