This essentially was a game that the Sharks should’ve won, and won comfortably, but kept finding ways to gift the struggling Waratahs a way back into it, and the Australians remained unbeaten in Super Rugby after a last gasp try gave them a 24-24 draw at GrowthPoint Kings Park.
One of those errors was from Sharks eighthman Keegan Daniel, whose brainfart allowed the Tahs an easy try when the Sharks were leading 17-10 and had the men from NSW on the mat. Daniel is an intelligent player and probably has the best link play among the Sharks loose forwards despite being on the wrong side of 30, but his poor decision to take a quick throw in, allowed the Tahs a way back in and halted the Sharks’ momentum.
For the Sharks, the positives were the ever impressive Lukhanyo Am with two tries, his centre partner Andre Esterhuizen who seems to have developed an offloading game in Japan and prop Tendai Mtawarira, who seemed to carry far more than he usually does. Winger Sbu Nkosi also had a fantastic game. Robert du Preez had a more than decent outing in the 10 channel, but his mixup with Lwazi Mvovo that effectively gave the Tahs their first try the only blot on his copybook.
The Sharks scrum had a better day, with the return of Mtawarira bolstering it, just as he had done in the second half against the Lions.
The Sharks dominated possession but their handling again let them down. Some would say it was because of the Durban humidity, but even then, the errors were too many for a team that seriously expects to challenge for the Super Rugby crowd.
The Sharks’ next game is against the Sunwolves at home, a fixture that is effectively a must win after their loss against the Lions and the draw against the Tahs.