Man, this is always so much harder to do after a loss, isn’t it? Let’s have a look at a very subjective assessment of how the guys went in Hamilton.
1) John Smit. Looked all right in the scrums and did a good job of keeping the troops going for the 55 minutes he was on the field. Still finding his way back in, though and it was really not a game to write home about. 6/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. Was again the pick of the Sharks forwards from a physicality point of view (along with Alberts) and his work rate is truly second to none. One can’t ignore the fact that his discipline was a factor this week, though, along with some more sloppy lineout work. 7/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. Did his bit in the scrums, but was also seriously lacking in the discipline stakes and also seemed to miss a tackle or two. 5/10
4) Steven Sykes. Did the basics well, but didn’t stand out in any way. 6/10
5) Alistair Hargreaves. Was quite prominent in a the tight phases, but must take his share of the blame for the patchy lineouts. 6/10
6) Keegan Daniel. Good on defence, but did little with ball in hand and guilty of a few bad knock ons. 6/10
7) Willem Alberts. The Sharks go-forward man was again in fine form. Funny that his hands didn’t disappear along with the rest of the team’s. 8/10
8) Ryan Kankowski. Another very strong, physical showing, but the Hoff needs to rediscover the spark that makes him so dangerous with ball in hand. 7/10
9) Charl McLeod. Mostly good, with quick service that lacked a little accuracy at times. Tactical kicking was poor, though. 6/10.
10) Pat Lambie. Another strong showing – Pat was assured and confident in horrible conditions and his kicking, both tactically and at posts, was of a high standard. 8/10
11) Lwazi Mvovo. Looked to get involved in the play and was unlucky not to score once or twice. 7/10
12) Mayer Bosman. Looked all at sea, frankly. I guess it never rains like that in the Free State! While he made his tackles count, Meyer unfortunately added next to nothing on attack this time out. 5/10
13) Stefan Terblanche. His night was characterised by a leaden-footed attacking display, coupled with some truly awful tactical kicking. A night he’d rather forget. 4/10
14) Odwa Ndungane. Worked hard as usual, but had zero opportunities really and lacked the pace to make any sort of impact when he did get the ball in hand. 6/10
15) Louis Ludik. Not a great outing for the former Lion, with his kicking from hand and competing in the air both found wanting. Positional play was good, though and his defence also sound. 5/10
16) Craig Burden. On a day when we really needed any sort of spark out there, it’s baffling that Burden wasn’t used.
17) Beast Mtawarira. Scrummed well and made a few carries, but was also quiet by his own standards. 7/10
18) Anton Bresler. Not on long enough to be rated.
19) Jacques Botes. Came on for Kankowski and unfortunately had little impact. 5/10
20) Conrad Hoffman. Unused sub.
21) Jacques-Louis Potgieter. Not on long enough to be rated.
22) Adrian Jacobs. Looked alert and alive out there, but alas, his fellow backs seemed unable to get the message and capitalise on what he tried to do. 7/10