John Plumtree refused to blame his returning Springboks for the Sharks’ heavy defeat in the Currie Cup final.
The Sharks had seven World Cup Springboks in their starting XV but were outplayed by a side that had just one (with another on the bench).
‘It’s always a challenge to get the Boks back, especially after what happened to the guys in New Zealand,’ said Plumtree. ‘But you definitely can’t blame them for our defeat today … they’re the ones who got us here. And it’s not like we haven’t had to deal with this situation before as we usually get the Boks back after the Tri-Nations [in a non-World Cup year].
‘The fact is that we were outplayed in every area of the game and were beaten by the better team. They were backed by a massive crowd, they attacked and defended well, and when they got in front it was always going to be difficult for us.’
However, Plumtree admitted that the Lions had benefited from having so little disruption to their side.
‘They had created a lot of momentum in this competition and we weren’t able to stop them today,’ he said. ‘They clearly had more cohesive ability. I don’t think the Boks are going to be too involved in the Currie Cup in future and the side that doesn’t get affected as much [by Bok call-ups] will profit.’