Macleod-Henderson hails Sharks effort

Date published: September 22 2014

A rare 80-minute effort earned the Sharks a valuable 26-15 victory over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

A rare 80-minute effort earned the Sharks a valuable 26-15 victory over the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

That was the view of the Durban-based outfit's coach Brad Macleod-Henderson, after the win which elevated his troops back into a play-off posiiton.

“We knew it was going to take an 80-minute effort and we played for 80 minutes, and it was great to see that the guys kept on getting off the ground and making their tackles,” said Macleod-Hendersonh.

“Loftus has a huge amount of history and tradition and they're a proud rugby franchise so we are just fortunate that today went our way.”

With only three rounds left before the playoffs, the defeat dealt the Bulls' semi-final hopes a serious blow.

Lying in sixth place and six points behind the Sharks – who are third with 20 points from seven matches – the Light Blues still have a slight mathematical chance of advancing to the next round.

Bulls mentor Frans Ludeke said it was an unfortunate blow to their campaign after they had shown signs of resurgence.

“You don't want to lose at home especially after you've built some positive momentum with good victories,” he explained.

“I felt that we've played good rugby over the last few weeks.” Traditionally one of their sharpest weapons, the Bulls' line-out turned into weakness which the Sharks used to their advantage.

“In the first half I thought we were in control in a lot of the facets and they scored that try just before half-time, which was a big turning point for them,” Ludeke said.

“In the second half we completely lost the pressure we built in the line-outs.

“We almost totally lost one of our strengths to create penalties and momentum from that. But you could see their confidence starting to grow from that set-piece.”

Macleod-Henderson said the Bulls' line-out woes were a major coup for his team while his charges did well to build the pressure.

“We obviously kept the scoreboard ticking over which put the Bulls under pressure,” he added.

“It was a huge bonus for us — the Bulls have a very strong maul and to deny them the opportunity not only in the line-out, but to deprive them of the opportunity to do what they are really good at.”