Sharks coach Robert du Preez has paid tribute to the Crusaders after their 40-10 quarter-final loss in Christchurch on Saturday.
Against a team that has lost just twice this season, the Sharks produced an error-prone performance, with the Crusaders now targeting their 14th win in a row.
While Du Preez expressed his disappointment with the result, he remained upbeat about the potential of the young Sharks team.
‘We weren’t quite there and that was the story of our season,’ Du Preez said after the loss. ‘We just can’t keep patient. I guess that’s the sign of a young, growing team. But I’m really proud of the boys, they put a big effort in and for that, I’m proud of them.
‘The Crusaders are an excellent attacking and defending side and I can’t see any other team beating them. Their set piece is so good, lineout-wise particularly, they scored tries from that and you have to front up physically,’ Du Preez added.
Sharks captain Ruan Botha said that despite the loss, they are looking forward to the next season.
‘I am very excited for the Sharks brand, we have some young talent coming through, we just have to stick together, work hard for the rest of the year, come back next season and hopefully do a lot better.’
Photo: Martin Hunter/Getty Images