Sharks head coach Robert Du Preez believes his team can emulate the Lions and beat the Jaguares in Buenos Aires next week.
The Durban-based franchise’s play-off ambition suffered a setback with the 17-30 defeat to the Hurricanes at Kings Park on Saturday.
The defeat means that Sharks are in eight-place on the overall with 33 points and have two tough away games against the Jaguares and the Stormers ahead of them.
First up for Robert Du Preez’s men is the mammoth test in Buenos Aires against Jaguares, who sit atop the South African conference with 41 points. The South Americans seem destined to lift the conference honours as they only have to face the Sharks and Sunwolves.
Du Preez admitted that it’s a challenging battle that awaits. However, he remains adamant that the Jaguares, fuelled with Argentinian national team players, are beatable at home.
Thus far, the Lions (25-16) and Chiefs (30-27) have managed to record wins in Buenos Aires.
“We going to have to win both away games to be in contention for the play-offs,” Du Preez said.
“The Jaguares are a good team. We’ve played against them the last two years and have beaten them before. The Lions have beaten them twice this season, so you know we don’t have an excuse.
“They’re in the competition, they’re a formidable side we’re going to have to deal with that,”
The return of former Sharks coach John Plumtree was certainly not a memorable occasion for the Duban franchise. Plumtree’s Hurricanes outscored the Sharks three tries to two.
Aphelele Fassi and Juan Schoeman scored the Sharks’ tries, while Curwin Bosch added two conversions and penalty to their overall tally.
The Sharks were much better in the third quarter, but poor handling halted their chances which eventually proved costly.
“You can never question the effort of the boys. I think we were 20 points down and produced a great fightback so that’s a massive positive” Du Preez said.
“We had a couple of chances in their red zone that we could have sneaked a win, but we turned over too many balls, we certainly have to learn to keep the possession and build phases,”
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