Neil Powell. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell says they will take a hard look at themselves after a humbling 46-19 home loss to the Stormers on Saturday.
After an impressive 22-19 away win over Edinburgh the previous week, the Sharks were brought back down to earth by the Stormers, who ran in six tries for bonus-point win at Kings Park.
“We have to be better and learn from our mistakes,” Powell told reporters after the match. “We knew the Stormers are the team that will punish you if you make mistakes and that’s exactly what they did. They just capitalised on our mistakes.”
Powell admitted that their preparation could have been better.
“In terms of our mental prep coming into this game, I don’t know if we thought after the Edinburgh game that this would be easy, being at home. We are obviously disappointed. As a coaching staff we will look at ourselves first and then ask questions of the team, what we could have done better to prepare for this game.
“It wasn’t good enough. We will take it on the chin. We have to learn from this. We cannot get in the situation again where we played so well and showed so much character and fight and in the next game there is none of that. It almost undoes all the good things we did in Edinburgh.
“We will have a hard look at ourselves and make sure we don’t get into this situation again.”
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The defeat leaves the Sharks eighth on the URC table, with seven wins and five losses.
Powell, though, feels they have been more consistent in recent times.
“In our last few games, we have been really consistent. This was probably the first one where I felt we were really not up for it, even in the Harlequins game [in London] I felt we put in a good effort. This was the exception for me in terms of effort and what we wanted to do.
“That consistency is always tough, but there are no excuses. If we want to be a champion team, we have to get ourselves up for every game and make sure we are mentally prepared for whatever the opposition is doing.”
“We’ve still got six or seven games left. We are only halfway through the season. There are still a lot of games to play. I do believe that we can still make the knockout stages.”