Defensive demons trouble Muir

Sharks coach Dick Muir has urged his side to tighten up their defence before their next Vodacom Super 14 match against the Cats at Ellis Park.

The Sharks have a bye this weekend, which will give them time to fine-tine aspects of their game before facing the Cats on 15 April.

“We can’t be overjoyed, because we gave away four tries,” said Muir after the Reds game. “Our defence let us down. Whenever we scored, we gave away easy points. There was a bit of desperation to win and we rushed the game when we should have slowed it down at one stage.”

The Sharks have already won three matches this season – when many expected them to finish with 13 defeats – but Muir is far from satisfied.

“We don’t have as many log points as we would have liked at this stage, but we are on target with the process we set in motion at the start of the season,” he said. “A team is only as strong as its depth, and thanks to the Wildebeest [who are top of the Vodacom Cup log], we’re looking good; but we left a lot of points out there on tour.

“This week [with the bye] affords us the opportunity to get the level of conditioning in the entire squad to where we would like it to be. We might get some of the guys without much game time to play for the Wildebeest [against the Border Bulldogs on Friday night].”

Muir said that having to play a home fixture straight after their five-match overseas tour was always going to be a big ask.

“Jetlag was a factor, but the team stuck to their guns – we wanted five points and we got them. I was encouraged that once we had the four tries, the guys still wanted to play. Fortunately we didn’t have to play catch-up rugby. It would have been hard to pull it through if we lagged behind, but I still think there was enough in the tank.”