Everitt delivers honest assessment as attention turns to Sharks

Everitt delivers honest assessment as attention turns to Sharks

Head Coach Sean Everitt shared an honest assessment of his side’s performance against DHL Stormers and says it is now up to the team to regroup and come together as a squad ahead of Saturday’s URC clash against Hollywoodbets Sharks.

Edinburgh were second-best in a challenging encounter with last season’s URC runners-up at DHL Stadium, with the hosts running out 43-21 winners on Saturday afternoon.

Everitt said: “It’s of course always difficult to find positives when you get beat by a scoreline of that margin, but I was really happy with how we stayed in the fight in those opening 40 minutes, when we weren’t really able to fire a shot from a territory possession point of view.

“We got into opposition 22 twice and we scored twice, so I think that’s a positive for me and I think the work rate and effort of the players was really good too. There was a lot of scramble defence, which people often don’t see.

“We worked hard to get back and out Stormers under pressure, to force them to make mistakes. So I don’t think it’s about a lack of work rate.”

He continued: “In terms of negatives, what’s frustrating is an area where we’ve been good this season, and that’s set piece defence. If my memory serves me correctly, we conceded four first phase set-piece tries, so that’s really disappointing because it’s bread and butter stuff.

“It’s only after a few phases that fatigue sets in, in terms of defending, so we really made it too easy for them.

“We played against a very good Stormers team today. A team with Springboks, a team with x factor and a team with Manie Libbok on fire.

“I think there were lessons learned today. Stormers have been winners and runners-up in the URC and any team playing the Stormers at DHL Stadium has to be on top of their game and we certainly weren’t on it today.”

Despite missing the club’s cohort of Scotland internationalists, while overcoming the tricky conditions of South Africa’s Western Cape, Everitt said there are no excuses for Edinburgh’s performance on Saturday.

With the likes of Jake Henry – a try-scorer on his professional debut – and Ben Muncaster – making his first start of the season – stepping up, there are plenty of positives to build on as attention turns to Saturday’s clash in Durban.

He said: “We’re always going to miss our internationalists, they are world class players. If you look at someone like Duhan [van der Merwe], he is up for Six Nations Player of the Tournament. You’re always going to miss guys like that.

“But it’s also an opportunity for guys to step up, and to be fair to the players out there against DHL Stormers. Boan Venter has been pushing Pierre Schoeman and he scrummaged admirably against one of the best tightheads in the world. Yes, we do miss our international players, but we’ve got guys out there who can do more than compete.

“We’ve talked about playing the Stormers and the Sharks, but it’s not just about those games, it’s about the competition. We’ve got six games left at the moment and every result counts. It’s about getting as many points as possible out of next week’s Sharks match – that’s our focus.

“As a group, it’s about how quickly we regroup on Monday and plot the way forward in Durban.”

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