They may be unbeaten like the Crusaders but the Sharks have admitted they are a long way off the standards being set by the red and blacks in this year’s Super 14.
The Sharks, beaten finalists last year, aren’t using the heavy rain as an excuse for their stuttering 16-8 win over the Lions in Johannesburg in round five.
“The world’s best sides adapt to whatever conditions they’re presented with. The Crusaders played in similar conditions against the Brumbies in round one and wiped them by 30 points,” Sharks captain Johann Muller told top South Africa website keo.co.za.
“So to point to the conditions as a reason for the quality of rugby we played is nonsense. We were poor, there’s no use in saying we took lessons from the game or anything like that. We played some schoolboy stuff. It’s counterproductive lying to ourselves – we’re still a long way off the Crusaders.
“We have high expectations of ourselves and that sort of showing isn’t even close to what we know we’re capable of. We’re stuck in second gear at the moment.
“The one characteristic of championship-winning sides is that they’re able to grind out a win even when they play badly. I suppose that’s the one encouraging thing about the Lions match. But we want to be more ruthless in future. It’s crucial that we start putting sides away the same way the Crusaders do.”
RugbyHeaven reports that the Crusaders, who lead the Sharks by three points at the top of the table, have a chance to extend that when they host the Waratahs on Friday night while the South Africans sit out a bye this weekend.
The Crusaders and Sharks don’t meet until week 12 of the championship in Christchurch on May 2.Tweet