Five-game losing streak ‘hurts’, admits Sharks’ Plumtree

The Sharks are yet to get a win in the five games they have played in the United Rugby Championship.

Sharks mentor John Plumtree says the team are hurting because of their disastrous start to the United Rugby Championship season following their 13-12 loss to Irish province Connacht on Saturday at Durban’s Kings Park.

Plumtree’s charges are on a five-game losing streak and rooted to the bottom of the URC points table. Saturday’s clash, at home and in front of their own fans in familiar surroundings, with Connacht presented the perfect opportunity for the Sharks to end the losing streak, but they fell short.

Playing in front of their supporters for the first time this season, the Sharks were overly dominant, scoring two tries courtesy of Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Werner Kok compared to Connacht’s one, and they could have stolen the win at the death when the score was 13-12, but replacement flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain missed a penalty.

‘Never lost so many games in a row’

Plumtree said they are hurting at the moment as results are not going their way.

“I don’t like losing, I have never lost this many games in a row before, it’s new for me too,” Plumtree said.

“I’m hurting right now; I’m hurting mainly for the team because they are trying real hard, and they are not getting any rewards. They are a young group, that’s really tough for them. Every week we are working, but we just can’t get over the line,” he said.

The veteran coach applauded his players for sticking to his philosophy but insisted they needed to be more clinical in attack to turn around their fortunes.

‘Not ruthless’

“I love our mindset, the players are doing everything I’m asking them to do,” Plumtree said.

“I have to take responsibility as well, we are still not clinical enough, we are getting those opportunities, but we are not ruthless inside the 22. We played the most rugby, I’m proud of that, because that’s what I have come here to do.

“There’s nothing wrong with our defence, they (Connacht) only scored one try. Attacking wise we just have to be more clinical,” he said.

The Sharks will have a chance to get their first win of the season when they take on the Dragons on Saturday at Kings Park. Plumtree will look to reintroduce some of his World Cup-winning Springbok players in the match-23.