Durban — Sharks coach Robert du Preez said their 19-17 win against the Southern Kings was the necessary wake-up call ahead of tougher South African Super Rugby derbies to follow in the next two months.
The Sharks were behind the eight-ball for the best part of the game and were trailing at half-time. While Curwin Bosch’s radar failed him when it came to converting the tries scored by Lourens Adriaanse and Kobus van Wyk‚ it responded when he needed to score through his 71st-minute long-range penalty. The kick saved the Sharks from a humiliating defeat.
"I hope this was a wake-up call in a big way because we didn’t play well. What was disappointing is that we were playing at home with quite a big crowd‚" Du Preez said. "That kick from Curwin showed that he’s a class act and that he can handle the type of pressure he found himself under."
Du Preez also defended Benhard Janse van Rensburg’s selection even though the 20-year-old had an unexpected baptism of fire against a side that was supposed to ease him into
Super Rugby. Janse van Rensburg was a controversial selection ahead of experienced candidates such as Innocent Radebe and Garth April. The latter steadied the ship in the second half. The Kings smartly targeted Janse van Rensburg’s channel‚ his inexperience and his tactical kicking.
Du Preez acknowledged that they needed to be better for
their trip to Bloemfontein on Saturday.