The Sharks have pledged to turn their fortunes around in 2016 after suffering the humiliation of failing to progress to the Currie Cup play-offs.
It’s been a dreadful year for the Sharks, with an 11th-place finish in Vodacom Super Rugby followed by a dismal domestic campaign.
Although the Sharks looked to have secured a semi-final berth when they opened up a 14-point lead against the Cheetahs in their final league game on Saturday, their season was perhaps summed up by the manner in which they ultimately capitulated to suffer a draw.
That result was enough to see the Cheetahs progress to the semi-finals, while the Sharks failed to make it to the Currie Cup knockout stage for the first time since 2005.
Director of rugby Gary Gold admitted there were no excuses.
‘Going into the 2015 season we were optimistic about our chances, however our performances were well below par and our results were just not good enough. We will leave no stone unturned in our preparation to come back fighting in 2016.'
Sharks chief executive John Smit called for the fans’ continued support.
‘We have become accustomed to reaching the Currie Cup semi-finals year in, year out, and it’s obviously disappointing we have not done so this season. However, we move on. Our planning for the 2016 season is well advanced. We have a young team in transition, further signings are planned and we will compete strongly next year.’
Captain Marco Wentzel admitted the 2015 season had been a letdown, but also appealed to supporters to keep believing in the team.
‘Sometimes our performances don’t always go according to plan and does not reflect the pride we have in wearing the black and white jersey. 2016 is a new year and we are determined to work extremely hard to make you proud once again.’
The Sharks will kick off their 2016 Super Rugby campaign against the Kings at the end of February.
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