Sharks coach John Plumtree believes that the difference between his side and their hosts in Kimberley on Friday night was that the Griquas simply made better use of the opportunities they were presented with.
The Sharks boss admitted that his team were beaten by a better team on the night as their unbeaten start to the season was brought to a grinding halt by a passionate Griquas outfit.
"We weren't quite good enough. They played quite well actually. It's tough to win away from home, but we've had two good performances at home and two poor performances away so a bit of a learning curve for them," he said.
Plumtree lamented his side's lack of accuracy and explained that any team that sits back allows the Griquas to run at them in Kimberley is going to have a hard time.
He said: "The scrums seemed to collapse, we didn't take care of our opportunities when got into their 22, they took theirs, that was possibly the difference, their kicker had a 100 percent record and we just weren't accurate enough.
"Defensively we didn't knock them back, we allowed them to build too many phases, so it was a good lesson for the younger group," he added.
The defending champions lost their away game against the Griquas last year as well and Plumtree said that the Griquas seem to raise their game when the Men from Durban come to visit.
"They love playing the Sharks in in Kimberley do the Griquas, they’ve frustrated us there before, it’s their big game. So it doesn't matter which Sharks side you put out there, it’s a big game for Griquas.
"They were better than us, they wanted it more, they deserved it more, we'll just regroup and have to play really well against Western Province next week," said the Sharks mentor.
When asked whether playing his returning Springboks off the bench was an error Plumtree admitted that starteing them may have made a difference and added that he may take a different approach to selection next week.
"I was asked that question after the game, if I should have played all my Springboks; hindsight is marvellous when it comes to selection. I'm not sure it would have made too much difference, but we will look at that in terms of selection next week," he said.
The good news for Plumtree is that the Sharks did not suffer any major injuries, apart from the knock to their confidence, and he knows that they will have to step up to the plate when they take on Western Province at Newlands next weekend.
"You don't want to lose 2 or 3 in a row in this competition, it puts pressure on you. So we have got to get up for that game and play very well, Province are a great side, the boys know that and we'll be up for it," commented Plumtree.
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