Sharks coach Robert du Preez is looking forward to seeing some of their younger players come through in the Currie Cup this season.
The Sharks have a number of seniors on duty with the Springboks or in Japan but were able to put in a workmanlike performance to beat Bordeaux 19-17 in difficult conditions at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.
The match concluded the team’s preparations for the Currie Cup as they start their season with a tough match against the Blue Bulls, who beat the Cheetahs 34-12 in Bloemfontein.
‘It was a great occasion to play at Moses Mabhida Stadium, it was just a pity about the weather,’ Du Preez said. ‘To play here was a big occasion for the boys.
‘The first half was really difficult for the French because we had the wind behind us and we knew there would be a big onslaught from them in the second half, but I thought our defence was really outstanding except for those two tries right at the end. Letting in two soft tries was disappointing.
‘But I thought the boys did really well in their first outing. The youngsters played really well, I was very happy with their contributions.’
One of the outstanding youngsters was speedster Aphelele Fassi, who scored a fantastic 60m counter-attacking try in the first half.
‘He’s a kid with lots of talent and I’m really looking forward to seeing how he goes in the Currie Cup this year,’ said Du Preez about the 20-year-old wing.
‘But singling out individual players isn’t fair, I just thought all the boys who pulled on the jersey for the first time did really well. I was very impressed with the effort out there, we had to control a lot of scraps on the floor and their reactions were really great.
‘It’s good to have the experience in the team, you always need a nice mix of experience and youth, but you want to bring the youngsters through and I’m really excited about seeing them playing in the Currie Cup, it will be a good platform for them going forward into Super Rugby next year,’ Du Preez added.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images