Sharks coach fumes but praises players
Enraged Sharks coach Robert du Preez holds back after shocking officiating blamed for narrow loss
Enraged Sharks coach Robert du Preez described some of the officiating in his side’s narrow Super Rugby 23-21 quarterfinal defeat to the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday as simply "bad".
Asked to comment on some of the decisions that went against his team during the bruising but exciting encounter in Johannesburg‚ Du Preez could not hide his unhappiness, saying: "I can’t comment on bad officiating, you know that‚ you have to make up your mind whether it was right or wrong." Du Preez heaped praise on his players after they pushed the Lions all the way in their own backyard with a winning display of resilience.
The visitors led going into the last four minutes of the match.
"The guys were great today‚ every single one of them‚" the Sharks coach said.
"We are very pleased by the way the match went.
"Unfortunately the result did not go our way. It was a fantastic performance by the boys. We could not have asked for more. They put their bodies on the line and left no stone unturned," Du Preez said.
"We lost a little bit of momentum 10 minutes after the half-time break and the Lions did very well to get two tries."
The Sharks were leading the Lions 21-20 with four minutes remaining on the clock‚ when Ruan Combrinck got a chance to win the match after opposition winger Lwazi Mvovo was pinned for offside 5m inside the home side’s half.
Combrinck did not disappoint as he kicked a 60m penalty that won the match for the home side and ensured a home semifinal against the Hurricanes, who have to travel from New Zealand, on Saturday.