Plumtree lauds his Sharks after Rebels mauling

Sharks coach John Plumtree has lauded his players for the way that they bounced back from a heavy defeat to the Brumbies by hammering the Rebels.

Plumtree expected his team to bounce back against the Rebels but says that he could not have predicted the onslaught his side delivered on Saturday.

The Sharks romped to a 64-7 thumping of the Melbourne outfit in Durban, for one of their most convincing results in Super Rugby.

The Durban side, who have a bye in the next round, climbed to third place in the overall standings, while the Rebels were left lying third from bottom.

“I thought we’d be pretty determined this week, but I wasn’t quite imagining that scoreline,” Plumtree said.

“I thought we were really accurate in pretty much every area of the game.

“We didn’t give away those 50/50 passes, and we held onto the ball and built pressure, and that’s what you can do.”

While Plumtree expected the tourists to take a barrage of criticism for their record defeat, he believed his side deserved the credit for their commanding victory.

“Everyone will say the Rebels were a great side but they haven’t been put away like that in the history of the competition,” he said.

“We were just nice and accurate, which was really good.

“It was a great response, and that was the challenge for the boys after last week.”

Rebels coach Damien Hill said he would accept responsibility for the crushing defeat — their fourth straight loss — but his players needed to shoulder a large portion of the blame.

“We knew we were in for a physical battle but our guys just didn’t show up and it’s quite embarrassing, to be honest,” Hill said.

“It’s probably the worst defeat I’ve been associated with at the club, and I’m really questioning the pride these guys have in the jersey.

“Even though it’s a new team, you’ve got to be prepared to leave blood on the field when you play a team like the Sharks, and our guys didn’t do that.”

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