We played for our lives on Saturday. I know we still have an outside chance, but I think we are already dead.”
Sport 24 reports that, that was the view of bitterly disappointed Sharks coach John Plumtree after his side lost their crucial Super 14 clash against the Waratahs 12-16 on Saturday.
“After Saturday I cannot honestly say we deserve to be in the semi-finals. There are no excuses. There were opportunities, but they got away from us. We owe our supporters an apology.”
Plumtree added that the Sharks were thoroughly aware of the dangers posed by the Waratahs.
“We reacted badly to the pressure of the occasion. The Waratahs deserved their win,” he said.
Plumtree believes the Sharks had opportunities to win the game.
“Perhaps the penalty when JP (Pietersen) was over the goallline was a little harsh, but we cannot complain. Stefan Terblanche’s mistake when he missed his kick at the ball in the goal area was completely out of character.
“Our scrumming was also disappointing. The guys had desire against the Highlanders. Was that the case on Saturday? Granted, the Waratahs have a good scrum.
“We’ll play hard against the Bulls. We are still in with a shot and we’ll see how next week unfolds. I would definitely like a South African team in the semi-finals, but we’re not going to hand it to them on a platter.”
Plumtree believes his side lost momentum when Ruan Pienaar was injured in the fourth round.
“That meant Frans Steyn had to play out of position and it was a big disruption when Adi Jacobs injured his shoulder,” he said.
“But the injuries are not an excuse. We knew what we had to do and could not execute. We had everything in place for an excellent campaign, but messed it up.”
Captain Johann Muller did not want to blame the wet conditions.
“It made play difficult, but some of the mistakes were a result of our confidence being down,” he said.
“We won three out of four games, but have struggled since we got a hiding in Bloemfontein. We’re not giving up. We’ll throw everything at the Bulls.”Tweet