‘Real class’: Boks show Plumtree the way forward

REACTION: Sharks head coach John Plumtree acknowledged that his team’s performance against the Dragons on Saturday was evident to all, as the returning Springboks provided the impetus his team needed.

The Sharks defeated the Welsh team 69-14 at Kings Park by outlasting them. After five straight losses, it was the Sharks’ first victory of the year.

The return of World Cup winners Eben Etzebeth, Makazole Mapimpi, Ox Nche, Grant Williams, and Jaden Hendrikse in black jerseys proved to be crucial for Plumtree on the field.

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“I felt they were all excellent. After the game, Plumtree spoke to reporters, “It’s not easy when you come back from such a high like that [a World Cup win].”

They were a little rusty and a little nervous because some of them hadn’t played rugby in a while, but the time they had tonight [Saturday] will be useful for next week.

“They were all excellent during the course of the week.

They simply give the other members of the group that confidence. They were also readjusting to a new coaching arrangement, so this week has been significant for them and hopefully enjoyable as well.

Plumtree went on to say of his team’s enhanced performance, “I simply think it was the introduction of five or six real class players.”

Although Lukhanyo [Am] performed better in his second run, the other players have also made significant progress, which should not be undervalued.

“Over the past few weeks, everyone has been working really hard, but we haven’t received any recognition for it.

“Especially in our own 22, we are still not where we want to be and we are still not as clinical as we would like to be. There is still a lot of work to be done.

“This week, Monday gets a little bit easier, at least.”

The outcome will also give the Sharks a lot more confidence before their pivotal South African derby against the Bulls in Round Seven in Pretoria.

Plumtree stated, “We know how tough it is going to be at Loftus next weekend, but we weren’t perfect and there is still stuff to work on.”

“The Bulls are performing admirably. Connacht is a side that we lost to quite easily, and they are put away.

“I have a great deal of respect for that Bulls team, and this will be a difficult task,”



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