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Ken Borland

Everitt pleased with attacking play of Sharks, but obviously not the defence

Posted on December 19, 2022 by Ken

Sharks coach Sean Everitt was pleased with the attacking play of his team against Leinster, but obviously not happy with the defensive lapses that saw them go down 54-34 to the United Rugby Championship log-leaders at the weekend.

In a dazzling game of rugby, the Sharks contributed five tries and more than held their own until the final quarter. That’s when their defence out wide was exposed and Leinster turned a narrow 28-27 lead on the hour mark into a convincing, impressive victory.

”I was pleased with the five really good tries we scored, not many teams score 34 points against Leinster, let alone five tries and especially not here,” Everitt said after the match.

“So there were aspects of our game that improved from the last two weeks and our goal on this tour was to get 10 log points and we achieved that.

“But I’m not happy that we conceded fifty points. There were unfortunate individual errors that cost us dearly against a class outfit. Jonny Sexton was world-class in the second half and put us under huge pressure.

“But the boys tried really hard, the effort was there and the energy to fight to the end was displayed. We will continue to grow with this young group of players,” Everitt said.

Leinster coach Leo Cullen said the Sharks’ physicality was a fresh challenge for his team, knocking his players back sometimes, although he suggested some of their efforts were over-robust and he would be re-examining the footage, possibly with a view to making a citing.

“That game had a bit of everything, we had three players go off for Head Impact Assessments. The Sharks are big, physical men and it was a totally different ball-game for us,” Cullen said.

“The Sharks had nothing to lose, they flew into everything. There were a lot of things that happened in the game and I will need to look at some incidents again.

“They were circling, they went after our defence and we were done a bit on the edge, or when we over-chased we got done on the inside. They certainly tested us out,” Cullen said.

Having begun their campaign on tour, the Sharks now have two matches at home, against Glasgow Warriors and Ulster, before ending October by travelling to Pretoria to take on the Bulls.

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