Sharksrugby.co.za reports Sharks coach Dick Muir was pleased in general with his side’s showing and felt good leadership came to bear when the Sharks needed it most.
“I’m happy with the five tries,” he said. “I’m also happy with the way the guys pulled it together after making early mistakes. A lot of credit must go to the leadership of the side to pull it back after it was going a bit awry.”
He was pleased with the way the scrums went for the Sharks, but admitted the lineouts could have been better. “We lost the first couple, but it was nice to see the composure the guys showed after losing a few, then getting it right and even poaching a few of theirs.”
He put the early ill-discipline down to everyone keen to get stuck into the game more than anything else. “I thought it was more over-eagerness, also a bit of frustration from the number of early mistakes,” he explained.
“The guys wanted to put on good show. Remember, there were two sides in the game, I think we were just on the receiving end. But you can’t do well in a tournament when you concede yellow cards because it allows the opposition to play, and you need all 15 on the field.
“I’m not overly concerned about discipline.”
With the number of handling errors from both sides, he explained that the slippery ball was not so much due to the humidity (although it was very warm), but more because the ground staff had sprayed the field earlier to protect the grass and unfortunately it hadn’t dried properly in time.
“The game was very messy, the conditions didn’t make it easy and handling was very difficult,” he admitted.
On the injury front, Muir confirmed that he had no major concerns. “We will have to assess JP who went over on his ankle, I don’t think it was too serious, I hope not. Fred took a slight knock on his calf and BJ battled with his groin.”
He also confirmed that Frans Steyn was pulled out of the match because of an ankle niggle which he explained was “not serious, and he could have played with a push.”
Asked about the form of Fred Michalak, he said, “I thought he had some special touches, perhaps tried to do too much, but you can see the class coming through. He also defended incredibly well which is something people might not give credit to someone of his size.
“There are pros and cons to the new laws, whether they would suit a fleet-footed, quick hands player like Fred. What I enjoyed was that he took certain control. It’s difficult to make a judgment as the game lacked rhythm and once it did start to flow, the guys started coming into their own.”
With regards the ELVs he said that “We need to get through them, they are not vastly different, even though a lot has been made about them. The penalties have changed and attack from scrums are more momentum than strike oriented, so that has changed the face of it.
“At this stage I’m happy with where we are. You don’t want to be peaking going into the competition and we are far from that, but you also don’t want to be totally underdone, so I think we are in a good place right now.”Tweet