Gold relieved after Sharks triumph

Date published: September 7 2015

Sharks boss Gary Gold said relief was the overriding feeling he felt after his side's victory over the Pumas in Durban at the weekend.

Gold admitted that it wasn’t a perfect performance but felt there were some good things shown that allowed the Sharks to leapfrog the Free State Cheetahs into fourth place on the table.

“I’m relieved, but we are not making things easy for ourselves,” he said. 

“I’m really encouraging the guys to want to play and I’m enjoying this group at the moment, but we have to cut out the errors in the game. 

"We continued to give them energy by making these mistakes at critical moments. 

“Credit must also go to the Pumas, they’re a nuggety bunch, they came at us at the breakdown and we didn’t handle it as well as we wanted to.”

Although there were disappointing aspects to the game, Gold felt that the intensity from his players was good and that there was no faulting their commitment as they had to fight back from a nine-point deficit to overhaul the Pumas, and then hold on to their lead under great pressure during the closing stages of the game.

“The attitude of the players is really good, they really want to pitch up and they’re working really hard, you can see that when you look at the actual stats of the game,” he added. 

“But we’re leaking soft tries even though we are also doing some very good things defensively and this lets the opposition teams back into the game. Against the teams at the top of the table, we’re going to pay a heavier price.

“I wouldn’t say we are frustrated, because that would suggest I wasn’t happy with the group, but we know, honestly, that when we click, we are a good team and score some good tries.  

"We have some great players and we are trying to play, but it hasn’t clicked like we want it to. The guys acknowledge that the error rate allows other teams into the game.”

Gold hailed the performance of Springbok scrum-half Cobus Reinach, who made a big impact on his return to the Sharks set-up.

“Cobus made a big difference,” said Gold. 

“He’s world class and it was brilliant to have him back. His attitude before the game was outstanding in very difficult times for him personally and Heyneke Meyer must be very happy to see a performance like that from him. 

"Heaven forbid the Boks pick up an injury, he’ll be able to take a guy like Cobus who is playing great rugby.”