I went through a few emotions in the wake of the loss to the Lions this weekend. The first was anger at the inconsistent refereeing. Second was despair at another missed opportunity to win at Ellis Park. The game was a huge missed opportunity. Eventually I allowed that most dangerous of emotions, hope, to creep in.
This Sharks team is one that is not short on talent but is a little short on experience. And by this I mean experience as a team. This is the first Super Rugby campaign for this coaching staff and the first or second Super Rugby campaign for many players in this team. The truth is the Sharks came up against a team at the top of their growth curve and came closer to beating them than most would have expected. While it was a disappointing result, the rugby does not stop and I think there is a lot more to come from this team.
I am excited to see how this team develops over the next few years. As the coaching staff learn and grow. As the players become more experienced and that consistency which is the mark of the best becomes part of their games. I am also hopeful of the development of some of those unquantifiable qualities of camraderie and team cohesion that can only come with time spent playing together.
Without looking too far into the future there are some key areas that I would hope the team have been working on. Discipline is one of the most important things. The Sharks cannot afford to be giving away as many penalties as they have been. Another is execution. Big games are won by the team that converts the opportunities that they have created. The game against the Jaguares on Saturday is definitely a big one and I for one am hoping to see the team responding well and showing an improved performance and hopefully securing a much needed win.Tweet