Sport / Rugby

Sport Staff
4 minute read
2 Apr 2017
6:39 pm

Super Rugby Reaction (W)Rap: The very grumpy Mr Du Preez

Sport Staff

Want some reaction from all the local Super Rugby sides’ decision-makers after the weekend’s play? Find it all here in one spot!

Sharks coach Robert du Preez must be a hoot at parties. Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images.

The Sharks coach Robert du Preez is not known as a talkative man.

And he’s even less so when he’s peeved off at his side’s narrow loss to the Lions on Saturday as well as a “soft” yellow card for lock Etienne Oosthuizen.

Du Preez’s short, grumpy answers overshadowed what was a superb game of rugby.

Also read: Has the Springboks’ big saviour arrived?

But at least the Lions and the Stormers, who delivered a superb performance to thrash the Cheetahs, were happy campers.

Sharks hot under the collar over a “marginal” but costly sin-binning

A youthful Sharks side was outstanding in their narrow 29-34 loss to the experienced Lions.

Yet you wouldn’t have thought so afterwards.

Instead, their mentor fumed over the yellow card awarded to serial offender Etienne Oosthuizen for grabbing Jaco Kriel around the neck at a maul.

Admittedly it wasn’t the worst piece of foul play ever but the new rules are, well, rules.

It cost the Sharks 14 vital points.

“I really don’t know (about that yellow card),” said Du Preez.

“I think there were some other incidents in the game that should’ve been looked at too. It’s not just Etienne’s two offences.”

And the kicker was when he was asked about what to do with Oosthuizen, who has a habit of foul play.

“Look, that yellow card was so marginal. If we focus on that decision, we have to review every single other incident of foul play.”

At least the former Bok scrumhalf gave a one-liner about Curwin Bosch’s talent.

Ross Cronje justifies Johan Ackermann’s gamble

Ross Cronje will never be as flashy as Faf de Klerk.

But he’ll also never be as wildly inconsistent as his teammate.

In one of his better tactical decisions, Johan Ackermann kept De Klerk long enough on the field to help the Lions take the lead against the Sharks and then replaced him in the 50th minute.

“Obviously Faf had good moments where he really tested the Sharks’ defence,” said the Lions coach.

“Then‚ obviously we had to look at the errors he started to make. You are not going to change Faf’s character‚ and that’s great because it suits our team.

“He will always look for opportunity but we needed calmness when we pulled ahead of them.”

That’s where Cronje came in.

“Ross isn’t like a rookie in his second or third Super Rugby match. He’s experienced and he brings a lot of calmness,” said Ackermann.

“We felt Ross was going to bring that stability.”

Storming (and pretty much perfect) Stormers

Here’s one stat that summed up how brilliant Robbie Fleck’s men was in a magnificent 53-10 win over the Cheetahs.

They completed 145 passes and only knocked-on 14 times – 11 times less than the Lions and 18 less than their own opponents.

The basic and refined skills showcased in this game was something to behold.

Despite scoring eight tries though, the Stormers didn’t forget to defend.

In fact, they only missed 17 off their 152 tackles.

“The tempo, the urgency, the support play was outstanding and offloading just came at the right time. It could have gone horribly wrong, but I think it was just one of those days where everything sort of stuck,” said Fleck.

“The biggest positive was our defence. It was big work-on for us during the week and we knew the Cheetahs were a good attacking team, but we handled it really well. We did put them under pressure and didn’t allow them to attack.”

A South African side hasn’t been this clinical in ages – the Stormers are really looking good.

Cheetahs feel beaten rather than sad

Franco Smith’s men could easily be cursing themselves for being poor in Cape Town.

They probably are rather cross with themselves.

But their injury list is simply too long and their depth too thin to be too hard on themselves.

As a result, they rather chose to concede that they simply ran into ruthless opponents.

“I can name a lot of areas where we were weak today‚ but you also have to give credit to a side that played really well,” said Smith.

“What the Stormers did out there makes you excited about South African rugby. They were outstanding.”

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