Sharks deserved 'a bit more' - John Plumtree
April 28, 2013
The Sharks got the better of the lineout contest © Getty Images
For the severely undermanned Sharks, Saturday's loss to the Chiefs was a case of one point lost and another point gained. The Chiefs, meanwhile, were content to "win ugly" after a performance that had vacillated between poetry and horror show.
Aaron Cruden kicked a last-minute penalty goal to see the hosts secure a 37-29 victory over the Sharks that returned them to the top of the New Zealand conference. Of more importance to the Chiefs, however, was the fact the final kick of the match denied the Durban franchise a second bonus point after the visitors had scored four tries.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said simply: "We're happy to win. We haven't done it for a couple of weeks, so mission accomplished in regards to the five points. The points came a bit easy in the first 20. We gave up a few penalties, made a couple of errors, and they were able to put us in the corner and turn it into points. Winning ugly feels better than losing ugly like we did last week."
Sharks coach John Plumtree was philosophical when asked what he thought his side deserved at Waikato Stadium. "Something a bit more," Plumtree said frankly. "We got one, we should've had two. Obviously the bad start, you can't let a side like the Chiefs get off to a start like that and expect to come back. But I was really proud of the boys. They had a task and they stuck to it."
"We were critical of our performances over the last few weeks. Our attack had got predictable and tonight we got rid of that. Tonight we played a lot more so it was good to see that. We hadn't scored a try for three weeks and we scored four tonight."
The Sharks were particularly effective at the lineout, two of their four tries scored from driving mauls after lineouts close to the Chiefs line. The visitors muscled their way over the line despite clean hits from the hosts, Derick Minnie scoring both tries. His tries were complemented by five-pointers from Lubabalo Mtembu and Keegan Daniel to ensure the Sharks didn't leave Waikato Stadium empty handed.
"Our initial impact of the drive was pretty good, but we were just getting our angles wrong and they're pretty good at going on what angle you give them," Chiefs captain Craig Clarke said. Rennie said the side had "to find a better way of dealing with it" ahead of their next match against the Stormers in Pukekohe.
The Chiefs won a remarkable game in Hamilton (video available only in Australia)
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