The Sharks may have remained unbeaten following their visit to Port Elizabeth, but it is their confidence that will return home in tatters.
John Plumtree warned his charges ahead of the match that they are not in for an easy time, but to not cross the whitewash at all is a concern. Even more so after the Sharks dominated in the early exchanges, camping on the Kings tryline without a way through.
This was an encouraging sign for Alan Solomons, Matt Sexton and the team, who was tipped to break records for conceding points this season. Not only have they kept opposing teams to only 2 tries in 160 minutes, they are ahead in terms of points aggregate. Yes, it may still be early in the season, but it cannot be denied that this Kings team is showing promise.
For the Sharks though, their next challenge is the Brumbies, a team that has scored ten tries in three matches and have not yet conceded a point in the second half of a match. Plumtree and his assistants will have to return to the drawing board to get their attacking nous back.
Last year the Sharks were one of the best attacking teams but have lacked that flair so far this season, only managing two tries in three matches.
An organised defence is what can be expected from the Brumbies, as Jake White and his charges have only conceded a single try in three matches to date, and will prove a tough defence to breach.
Plumtree is of the opinion that his team will come good, and is asking for patience from the fans. He admitted that it was frustrating watching the match against the Kings, and this showed with him replacing his captain with plenty of time left in a game that could well have been lost.
Durban is still one of the worst places to play rugby at this time of year, and is confident going into the Brumbies clash while still being cautious.
There is no news on the extent of Jean Deysel’s injury, who is key for the Sharks ahead of the Brumbies clash. Once he left the field all momentum was lost and the Sharks looked dazed and lost without their muscle.
By Richard Ferguson