Defence coach Omar Mouneimne believes the Sharks’ Super Rugby opener provided the ideal preparation for this Saturday’s clash against the Jaguares.
The Sharks claimed a comfortable 43-8 win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth, but faced stern opposition early on, and only led by seven points at the break.
‘We hadn’t had physical contact for two weeks, so we needed a physical hit-out in a real game, and to get the nerves bled out,’ Mouneimne told Sharksrugby.co.za. ‘We needed real bullets fired under real pressure after two warm-up games.
‘We made it very difficult for ourselves in the first half, we needed to adapt quicker to what was happening at the breakdown. We were also a bit messy and could have been a little more accurate, but in saying that, I think it was down to nerves. You’re not going to do things perfectly, and at half-time, the talk was about lifting the intensity, about playing at another level, and to outpace and outmuscle them. There were signs of that.’
Mouneimne said they had been extremely pleased by the team’s response in the second half, but reiterated they’d need to improve significantly against the Jaguares this weekend.
‘It perhaps wasn’t our best defensive effort, it was brutally physical and ruthless, but we can be better. For a first game, though, nerves and adrenaline can contribute to that, but going into the Jaguares game, we need to be absolutely spot on because they will be at a very high level physically.’
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