Ken Borland

By Ken Borland


Sharks boss Everitt: ‘We were manhandled by the Bulls’

"They dominated us physically and we had no answer, which was disappointing," said Sean Everitt after his side's 43-9 defeat.

Sharks coach Sean Everitt was asked after their Rainbow Cup hammering at the hands of the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld what went wrong when they ran back out on to the field for the second half, and his simple answer was they were “manhandled”, which is why a 9-12 halftime deficit turned into a 43-9 hiding.

And it was the magnificent Bulls pack who did the damage, Duane Vermeulen once again being the talisman as the home forwards dominated the lineouts, scrummed powerfully, were commanding at the maul and without mercy on the gainline.

“The Bulls forwards were outstanding and forced us to give away penalties. They dominated us physically and we had no answer, which was disappointing,” said Everitt.

“We battled to stop their maul and that led to penalty on top of penalty, for which we paid the price this time. We were manhandled.”

Everitt continued: “Conceding a penalty at the maul just compounds the problem because then they kick to the corner and maul again. And when we were in a good position, we would have a lineout turnover or concede a penalty at the scrum. So it’s not as if they exploited our game-plan, but rather the fundamentals of the game which we did not get right.”

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The Sharks coach did not feel that his team were particularly ill-disciplined, but said an enormous penalty count against them was rather due to an unrelenting battering they were receiving. The Bulls were truly merciless and flyhalves Morne Steyn and Chris Smith converted all nine of their kicks at goal.

“I can’t fault the effort in the first half, when we stuck to the plan well and fired all the shots – the Bulls did not look like scoring,” said Everitt.

“We attacked well in that first half, I thought our plan was well-balanced between kicking and ball-in-hand, but then we’d lose the ball out wide. It was just a case of not being able to convert.

“But in the second half they made us tired and fatigued and it’s always a tough day when you’re going backwards and conceding penalties. You have to credit the Bulls, they were outstanding, they hardly made a mistake and they kept us out.

“They have improved a lot under Jake White, but there is still a lot of rugby to be played and we are certainly not out of the race.”

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