Sharks coach laments ‘sweet moments’ in gripping 84th-minute loss to Bulls

Sean Everit. (Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

  • Sharks coach Sean Everitt lamented “sweet moments” in their 30-27 loss to the Bulls after the 80-minute horn in the URC quarter-final.
  • Bulls drop-goal Chris Smith decided the game in the 84th minute, sending them through to the semi-final against Leinster.
  • The Sharks passed up a chance of a home playoff in the final round-robin game, which could have made a difference to their fortunes.

The boot of Bulls fly-half Chris Smith decided the contest in favor of the Bulls, as did those of Naas Botha, Derick Hougaard and Morne Steyn before him.

However, Sharks coach Sean Everitt said the ‘sweet moments’ had done his team a disservice as they lost 30-27 to the Bulls after the 80-minute quarter-final whistle. United Rugby Championship final at Loftus on Saturday.

READ | Springboks invite 17 to camp ahead of Wales series, 2 uncapped players included

“We thought we could win and we prepared well,” Everitt said.

“Unfortunately there were a few soft moments and that’s what the competition has taught us. We put the Bulls under pressure in the first 20 minutes and we didn’t win the award and then we let it go. a gentle test.

“It was a story of our season. It could have gone either way at the end and we could have been luckier in the last five minutes where I think we did well to put the pressure on and try to get a penalty.

“It could have turned the game in our favour, but it didn’t. This team has great character, they never give up and we saw that against Ulster.

“I think we all understand now what it takes to win away from home.”

The Sharks were locked down, supplied and loaded with Springboks due to arrive this weekend.

Instead, it was homegrown prodigy Phepsi Buthelezi who came out the brightest with his fiery display in defeat, despite the industry of Makazole Mapimpi and Siya Kolisi.

Despite losing to a tough-to-beat Bulls side at Loftus under Jake White, the Sharks left Pretoria feeling their last two matches had ended their season prematurely.

They went into the final round of the pool stage as the highest-seeded South African side, only to finish lowest after losing to Ulster away and doomed to the gallows at Kirkness Street for the playoffs.

“If you look at the log positions, it tells the story itself,” Everitt said, conceding their season frayed one game before the knockout tie.

“Until the last round of the group stages we didn’t know who was playing who in the quarter-finals and there were opportunities for us to be able to finish second and we didn’t take that opportunity.

“It’s very difficult to win away in this competition. So there’s been a lot of learning, a lot of growth but, to be honest, the team is suffering and extremely disappointed.

“I’m just proud of the effort and character they showed to get back to where they were in the game.

But all the South African teams did well from where we were and how we finished and I think South African rugby is in a good space.”

Comments are closed.