The truth is that the Sharks had a much better game against the Lions then they did in the game against the Crusaders two weeks ago, unfortunately it’s not hard to do better than a 52-10 loss and actually holding the ball and running towards your try line is bound to improve things.
Opting for a new game plan the boys retained the ball more than we’ve seen all season, this lead to a few entertaining tries in response to the Lions two converted penalty kicks early in the first half. The first being from Renaldo Bothma and the second was a beautiful run down the line by Lwazi Mvovo moving the Sharks into a 14-11 lead at the break.
Inexperience and an evident lack of cohesion in the Sharks team lead to the Lions onslaught, scoring 12 unanswered points shortly after the kick-off for half time. It was at this stage that the Lions got complacent, with a score of 23-14 they thought they had the win in the bag, giving the Sharks the opportunity to take advantage.
Discipline proved slightly better with the only yellow card of the game going to André Esterhuizen for a high hit on Andries Coetzee, although given the past few weeks you’d think we would have been on our best behaviour.
A sneaky try from Thomas du Toit gave the boys a dash of hope and put them within two points of the home side with two minutes to go.
The Sharks can be commended on their defense with only 14 men on the field, although we can all agree that at this stage of the competition, we should never have been in that position. The youth of the team showed a hunger that has been missing over the last few weeks as well as a never give up attitude that was refreshing.
We can only hope that in the upcoming, do or die, final South African contest against the Bulls that the Sharks can bring one home. Otherwise we will see ourselves in a pretty precarious position on tour in Australia coming up to the playoff stages.