Sharks John Plumtree

Newly-appointed Sharks coach John Plumtree has promised to restore pride in the black and white jersey, but called for patience from fans. Photo: Sharks Rugby/Supplied

Sharks coach John Plumtree pleads for patience from fans

Newly-appointed Sharks coach John Plumtree has promised to restore pride in the black and white jersey, but called for patience from fans.

Sharks John Plumtree

Newly-appointed Sharks coach John Plumtree has promised to restore pride in the black and white jersey, but called for patience from fans. Photo: Sharks Rugby/Supplied

Newly-appointed Sharks coach John Plumtree has promised to restore pride in the black and white jersey, but called for patience from fans.

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The Durban franchise slumped to their fourth straight United Rugby Championship (URC) defeat when they lost 12-10 to Benneton in Italy last Friday.

The Sharks’ defence has been decent, but their attack has been riddled with basic errors this season.

They have only scored 49 points across their four matches – and conceded 99.

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Discipline was also an issue on Friday, as Aphelele Fassi was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle and lock Hyron Andrews red card for a dangerous clear-out at the ruck.

“A lot of our basic skill sets let us down,” said Plumtree.

“Losing the aerial battle alone was key because it allowed them to dominate territory. The yellow and red card did not help the situation.

“On a positive note, we had a couple of nice moments on the attack but didn’t capitalise on the available opportunities. I was proud of the effort around our goal line defence and many young players stood up physically.

“This has been a disappointing tour and we have picked up some key injuries in the same positions, which have been tricky to navigate especially with eight of our Springboks unavailable.”

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Plumtree took over as head coach from Sean Everitt who was shown the door after being thumped by Cardiff in Durban last year.

“When I came in I knew there would be no overnight fix, but what I can promise our fans is that we will do everything we can to get things right and do this jersey proud again,” continued the Kiwi, who coached the Sharks from 2008-2012

“I called for patience in the pre-season and it’s a difficult period right now because no one likes losing. I know that our loyal fans will stick by us and we will make you proud once again.”

The Sharks’ depth has been tested,with the likes of Bongi Mbonambi, Le Roux Roets, Muller du Plessis, Nevaldo Fleurs, Francois Hougaard, Reniel Hugo, Vincent Koch, Vincent Tshituka, Curwin Bosch, Kerron van Vuuren all injured.

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The Sharks will look to get their United Rugby Championship campaign back on track when they host Connacht from Ireland at Kings Park on Saturday, 18 November.

Kick-off is at 17:00.

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The Sharks are currently bottom of the 16-team standings with a single point from their four matches to date.

Connacht are in fifth spot with 14 points after three wins from their four games played.

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