Perfect it was not, but the Sharks gave a glimpse of what can be expected of them in this year’s Curie Cup competition.
Grant Bashford, the Sharks’ assistant coach, said that his team’s 34-28 victory over the defending champion Bulls at the weekend was “the right tonic” after the opening round loss to Griquas.
However, there are still “bits and pieces to tweak” as they look towards a Round Three encounter with the newcomers of the competition, the Pumas, in Durban on Friday.
With only a few bangs and bruises, but no injuries that look like it will keep anybody out, the Sharks are looking to put their newfound attacking game on display again.
“It certainly wasn’t perfect,” Bashford told rugby365.com, when asked about his team’s five-tries-to-three victory over the Bulls.
“There are always bits and pieces to tweak,” he said, adding: “What it does show is how we can play when we want to, provided we look after the ball.
“However, there are little bits and pieces to tweak, but generally [we are] happy with the performance.”
The other vital aspect is that they managed to bounce straight back from the First Round loss to Griquas and collected a full-house five points at home.
“Just to win homes games is vital,” Bashford told rugby365.com.
“Going down to Griquas, we felt we just didn’t look after the ball well enough. There were lots of turnovers – they scored five tries and four of those we gifted them with turnover ball.
“It was quite rewarding that we held on to the ball for passages of play and this weekend we got the reward that we wanted – scoring the five tries and getting the bonus point.”
The other pleasing aspect is that the Sharks showed they can employ an attacking game plan, even in tight contests.
“The intent to play was there this weekend, it was quite an entertaining game of rugby,” the Sharks’ assistant coach said.
“The result was huge, because it was a home game and just to get off the scoreboard.”
Although Bashford admitted it wasn’t quite up to Super 14 standard, he said the intensity of the game was very high.
“We have quite a young group and the intensity of that game was quite high.
“We certainly wanted to up the tempo and run them around a bit, which we did and play a bit more rugby in different halves of the field than we have in the past.
“We tried to speed the game up, but in terms of Super 14 [standards] I’m not really sure.”
Article courtesy of Rugby 365 editor Jan De KoningTweet