Coach Robert du Preez has expressed his disappointment at the Sharks' lack of 'effort' against the Lions last Saturday.
Although the Lions only led by three points at half-time, they kept the Sharks scoreless in the second half and ultimately cruised to a 27-10 win.
While it was a result that essentially suited both sides, with the Lions finishing as the leading overall side and the Sharks avoiding a trip to Christchurch to play the Crusaders, an exasperated Du Preez questioned the effort of the players.
'There is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel in that there is a second chance next Saturday in Johannesburg, but I am not happy with the way we played. There was just no effort,' he said after the match.
Du Preez even suggested the players should perhaps be asked why they failed to pitch up for such an important encounter.
'I don't mind losing if you've given your best – I think everyone would be happy with that. Our fans would be happy with that too, but if you come out here and you just get beaten up like we did tonight [Saturday] and you make so many errors, that's just not good enough for the Sharks.'
Du Preez said they would need to look at the players' mental states of mind, with the Sharks now having to travel to Johannesburg to face the Lions at their Ellis Park fortress.
'I guess in the back of the players' minds there was the thing about [possibly] travelling to New Zealand, which could have played a role, but not to the extent of what happened.'
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