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“We put ourselves on the back foot” – Everitt


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 13 Aug 2013 at 14:58
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

“Look, there were three things that went wrong for us on the weekend,” says Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt, speaking exclusively to Sharksworld.

“Firstly, we didn’t scrum well. Although we only lost two lineouts, the execution of the ones we won wasn’t good at all and then obviously the penalties were a big factor as well. If your set piece doesn’t function and you give away that amount of penalties, you’re really on the back foot. We can’t really nitpick about too much else until we sort out those three major things.

“Nothing in rugby can really get going – either from an attack or defensive point of view – if your set piece isn’t functioning and that was particularly frustrating for us on Friday night. We have to give credit to Griquas too – they have a very good scrum, they have guys who’ve been around the block and they take great pride in their set piece. We did prepare for that, but obviously we just weren’t good enough on the evening.”

We asked Sean whether they’d been able to take anything out of what happened, in order to better prepare the team for the Lions game this weekend. “Absolutely,” he replied, “I think you learn a lot more form a loss than you do from a win. It was our first outing as a group – we’d only been together for two weeks – and we learned a lot out of it. We were probably a bit nervous to play, so we didn’t have much width in our attack. That’s obviously something we’re going to try and change this week. We’re looking to play a little bit more – not play ‘within ourselves’, if that makes sense.”

Sean concedes that some of options taken against Griquas may have played into the opposition’s hands. “Unfortunately for us, that was where they were strong,” he says, “and those areas around the fringes are their bread and butter. Again, though, that wasn’t the reason we lost the game.”

We then looked at positives to come out of the encounter, from a Sharks points of view. Sean was happy with the kicking game, saying “we’ve worked really hard on it – and I thought we chased really well. We managed to squeeze Griquas when we had the chance, like in the second quarter where we enjoyed 93% territory. We won the territory battle overall, which we were pleased about and at times we also mauled really well. When we needed to scrum well, we did – like in their 22 when Jacques [Botes] scored [his second try]. Overall, a lot of positives to take out of the game, including some really good individual performances. We did put in some really good patches of rugby, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be more consistent.”

Looking ahead to the Lions match, Sean tells us that a few injury concerns are preventing the team form being finalised; but that there won’t be any changes otherwise. Keegan Daniel, Tim Whitehead and Sizo Maseko are the men in doubt for the weekend. “If Keegan is out, we’ll obviously go with Jacques Botes as number 8 and captain,” he confirms. “For Sizo, we might look to SP Marais, with Heimar Williams the only guy in contention to replace Tim at 12. We’re going to look within the squad – a guy like Heimar has gone well at training and deserves a shot. He’s come through the junior ranks and I know personally what he’s capable of. We look forward to seeing him getting his opportunity.”



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