Durban — There was a collective sigh of relief more than anything else in the upper echelons of Hollywoodbets Kings Park on Friday evening when the Ospreys were dispatched 25-10, and Neil Powell knows his team has to be far better against Harlequins.
The London club come to Durban for what will be the Sharks’ debut in the European Rugby Champions Cup, and what got them over the line against the struggling Welsh team will be inadequate against this English Premiership side.
Powell admitted that after a tumultuous week in the Shark Tank, the result was all that mattered.
“If you know me (from his long tenure as Blitzboks coach), then you’ll know I’m not about the result, but this one was about the result for us. It will give us a bit of a breather,” Powell said after Friday night’s match.
“We all know it wasn’t an easy week. This game was never going to be easy because of the (difficult) week and then it was a short week as well.
“We played Sunday and we had to get the guys recovered and get good preparation to play Friday again. That turnaround also made it difficult.
“It was a tough week and a much-needed result for us, especially looking forward to Harlequins and what we want to achieve. It’s good that we got a bit of confidence and a positive result from this game.”
The Sharks host Quins at 3pm on Saturday and they will be boosted by the return of Bok giants Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth
“It’s (usually) not just about the result for me,” Powell added. “It’s also about the way we play, the effort that we put in and how we execute the plan and how well we do in our individual roles and responsibilities.
“We can definitely make a step up there. We will learn from our mistakes, but there was some good dominance in that game as well, especially in the first half.
“There were a lot of positives as well, but we do need to make sure that we get it right for next weekend.”