Connect with us


Sharks mentor Powell takes in Scottish success on bleak URC weekend for SA sides


  • Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell was chuffed with his
    team’s defensive steel in their 22-19 win against Edinburgh on Saturday.
  • The Sharks kept their hosts at bay, especially in the last five
    minutes, to secure a seventh United Rugby Championship win of the season.
  • The Sharks were the only South African team to win on what
    was a bleak weekend for SA teams.

Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell was effusive in his praise
with regards to how his charges toughed it out for a crucial 22-19 win against
Edinburgh in their United Rugby Championship clash on Saturday.

The Sharks had taken an early 14-0 lead through tries from
Grant Williams and Marnus Potgieter, but the hosts fought back through an Adam
McBurney brace and a try from Henry Immelman to take a 19-14 half-time lead.

The Sharks then kept the hosts scoreless in the second half through
a mighty defensive effort that was put into perspective by the 10-minute loss
of prop Carlu Sadie for an illegal cleanout in the 66th minute.

URC WRAP | SA teams in Europe: When and where your side is
in action

They scored through Kerron van Vuuren and a Curwin Bosch penalty,
from where they withstood everything their hosts threw at them in the last five
minutes of the game.

Powell felt they allowed their opponents to stay in the
game, but also lauded his team’s composure despite conceding three late

“We’re proud of the boys for the character, effort, and
fight they showed in this game,” Powell said.

“It was tough in that last few minutes, but for the whole
80, they showed the fight. We asked them to be physical and dominant and they
did exactly that in this game.

“We defended well, we stayed in structure, and we
played the game in the right areas of the field, but in the last 10-15 minutes,
they fed off our mistakes.

“We made the game unstructured, and it suited their way
of playing and that allowed them to come back into the game.”

READ | Sharks hold off fierce Edinburgh onslaught to record
priceless away win

The Sharks’ win was South Africa’s only success of the weekend,
with the Bulls, Stormers, and Lions all dropping points against the Scarlets,
Ulster, and Connacht respectively.

The win moved the Sharks to eighth on the log after 11 games
with 33 points, two ahead of the team they beat on Saturday.

The Sharks will be engaged in the lone URC game this weekend
when they host the Stormers in Durban, a game that presents them a chance to
stretch away from Edinburgh.

Powell rued the opportunities they didn’t take in the
Scottish capital, but was happy with the momentum gleaned from what was their
seventh win of the season.

“We still had a few opportunities to take the game away
from them,” Powell said.

“Overall, it was a very good win for us and if you look
at how the other South African teams played, it’s a massive success for us.

WATCH | Ox Nche goes on a BULLOCKING run in Edinburgh

“We will definitely take confidence, momentum, and flow
out of this game. The commitment was shown in this game.

“This should be the standard of the Sharks in terms of
how we play and how we pitch up for every game.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *