The Sharks conceded five tries in a one-sided 38-6 loss to the Crusaders in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby semi-final in Christchurch.
While the result itself may not have been all that unexpected, the unexpectedly wide margin of victory is perhaps the more disappointing aspect, with the Sharks – billed as heavy pre-tournament favourites – slumping to a thrashing against a team that they had famously beaten at the same venue months before, with 14 men to boot.
The side now returns to Durban to lick its wounds after a season that saw a maiden South African Conference win, but ultimately another failed assault on that most elusive of trophies, the Super Rugby title itself. With a number of stalwarts set to move on now that the 2014 campaign has run its course, many fans find themselves asking “what now” as the Sharks must inevitably find themselves heading for another season of transition in 2015.
Questions remain, though – and I’m sure many of these will be asked and dissected in gory detail as the post mortem of the season runs its course. Foremost on that list, though, will be to explain exactly how a team with quite so many superstars, in a squad with quite so much depth, managed to execute such an uninspiring and ultimately limited game plan for so long without realising the need to make adjustments.
Whether any admissions will be forthcoming that, just maybe, the approach of 2014 is not the one to take the Sharks forward, remains to be seen.Tweet