Sharks and Waratahs settle for a draw

Keegan Daniel of the Cell C Sharks looks to stop Jake Gordon of the Waratahs over for a try during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Waratahs at Kings Park on March 03, 2018 in Durban.
Keegan Daniel of the Cell C Sharks looks to stop Jake Gordon of the Waratahs over for a try during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Waratahs at Kings Park on March 03, 2018 in Durban.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

In these tough economic times, fans find it hard to flock to stadiums and the Sharks gave their faithful bunch no reason to spend money on them after this dire showing.

Robert du Preez's looked like a team that wanted to gift the Waratahs their first win in Durban since 2009.

In the end they didn't but in a game where directionless endeavour outweighed ambition, none of these teams deserved to win.

The Sharks will have to wait another week for their first victory of the season.

The Sharks have had plenty of unmemorable first halves and this was one of them.

They dished out a master-class of how to waste possession, which was weird because their 18th minute try through Lukhanyo Am was a rare example of effective phase play and clean off-loads.

While the Sharks are clearly working towards having an efficient off-loading game, the timing of passes is everything. That, along with safe hands from receivers, were missing.

The new ruck laws which teams are also adjusting to, work in favour of the side that cleans out better and faster. This wasn't the case for both sides even though Jaco Peyper managed the breakdown very well.

The Sharks also suffered the indignity of conceding a fourth minute try from first-phase ball through Waratahs half-back Jake Gordon.

He sniped around the blindside and the Sharks' short side defence caught a momentary and inexplicable case of somnolence.

Fortunately for the Sharks, the Waratahs no longer have a fearsome scrum and the under-fire apprentice tighthead prop Thomas du Toit had an easy enough outing.

The same couldn't be said of Robert du Preez junior's tactical kicking.

In a swirling wind, it left a lot to be desired but cracker-jack Waratahs fullback Israel Folau lacked the incisiveness to exploit Du Preez's failing.

A sound Sharks defensive system also had a lot to do with that. The hosts though were error prone in the other facets, with the five minute period before the break showcasing them at their worst.

Franco Marais threw the ball in skew with the Sharks having an attacking line-out on the Waratahs' 5m line while Tendai Mtawarira couldn't quite ground the ball from a close range snipe.

The turnover they conceded on the Waratahs' line when the hooter sounded took the cake. Am completed his brace in the 46th minute when he collected a delightful Du Preez inside pass.

A collected and expected brainfade saw Waratahs captain Michael Hooper waltz to the Sharks tryline untouched.

It took the Sharks 15 enervating minutes to regain the lead through Du Preez, who collected Marius Louw's deft chip and sprinted to the line.

The Waratahs responded five minutes later through Mitch Short and Bernard Foley displayed nerves of steel to nail the touchline conversion.

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