SHARKS IN TROUBLED WATERS
Written by: Nkosazane Dambuza
The Cell C Sharks’ quest for a spot in the playoffs is in danger after they were defeated 30-17 by the Vodacom Bulls in a crucial clash on Friday.
The Durban-based franchise needed to win their two remaining matches with bonus points against the Bulls and the Emirate Lions in this year’s edition of the Vodacom Super Rugby to secure seventh place on the table.
Currently standing at eighth place wild-card standing, the Sharks loss of key players due to injuries and dismal performance against the Bulls proved detrimental to their hopes of climbing up a spot in the log.
Sharks coach, Robert Du Preez was disappointed with the way the players carried themselves with the setbacks.
“We looked really disjointed. The injuries in the week had a role to play but the attitude was certainly not there,” said Du Preez.
It has been a tough season for the Durban side, suffering major blows when they lost a number of strong players in their regular outings.
Arguably the most notable of them all being flyhalf and captain, Pat Lambie who suffered a concussion after a collision with teammate Rhyno Smith in May this year. He was later confirmed by the Sharks that he is ruled off for the rest of the season.
Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am, also saw a departure from the Boks side owing to injury days before the test series against France. He had injured his eye socket in his Sharks jersey against the DHL Stormers.
Franco Marais is the latest Sharks’ troop down after a severe injury to the back during the game against the Bulls.
Vodacom Bulls Coach, Nollis Marais, said that he thinks the Sharks played well and both sides made mistakes but his team pitched well.
“We defeated them well in the end to make sure they don’t get a try and I’m very happy with the win,” said Marais.
The Sharks have a two-weeks break in which to recollect their strategy and gain composure before facing the toughest South African team, the Emirates Lions, on home ground at the Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium.
*Caption: Sharks coach, Robert Du Preez, is disappointed in his boys’ performance in the derby clash against the Bulls on Friday in Durban.