Sean Everitt. Picture: JOE ALLISON
Sean Everitt. Picture: JOE ALLISON

The novel coronavirus may have put an indefinite halt to Super Rugby but the break is welcome for the table-topping Sharks.

The Sharks will stay at the top of the table in the interim after  a 24-14 win over the Stormers at Kings Park on Saturday.

The Sharks were due for a bye after this week’s game against the Chiefs. Due to the spread of the virus and the various means being employed by governments to contain it‚ that game and the other matches will not take place.

The early Sunday fixture between the Jaguares and Highlanders was called off and the Australian derby between the Brumbies and Waratahs took place in Canberra on Sunday morning SA time.

Sharks coach Sean Everitt understands the unfortunate nature of the break and has made peace with the fact it is beyond his control.

“It’s a welcome break for us. Our guys are knackered. They gave it everything in this game and they’ve been doing this each week, but we haven’t played a complete game‚” Everitt said.

“We’ve been good in some areas and weak in others‚ but where we’ve been good‚ that’s bailed us out. Our guys need the break.

“Unfortunately‚ we can’t host the Chiefs this week and I think the spectators would have loved to come and watch. That’s the way it is and we can’t control that. We’ll welcome the break.”

With the first-minute tackle in the air by Stormers flank Johan du Toit on Sharks scrumhalf Louis Schreuder headlining a game of unexciting ebbs and flows‚ Everitt said the safety of the players is paramount.

He shied away from commenting on what should have been the appropriate sanction for Du Toit‚ who was yellow-carded by referee AJ Jacobs.

“It’s difficult to say. We did look at it but my whole philosophy about rugby is to keep the game safe. Maybe that comes from me being a teacher and coaching younger players‚” Everitt said.

“We can all do better in making the game safer. Whether it’s a yellow or red card‚ that’s debatable. We lost a player and it was dangerous‚ otherwise he wouldn’t have gone off.”

Everitt was impressed with his team’s effort in a game that could have been a potential banana skin for them considering the strength of the Stormers’ forwards.

“We were under pressure during the week with regards to our set piece and playing against a Springbok pack. Our guys stuck to the task‚ there was a lot of adversity in the game, but the guys hung in. All credit must go to the players‚” Everitt said.