The Durban side ended a run of six losses in a row, and the Sharks produced a much-improved performance to hold out for the positive result.
“Last week and this week I think was the first time we could keep the same side for two weekends in a row. You could just see how the confidence grew in every player,” said Du Plessis after the match.
“We’ve had our backs against the wall throughout the season and we really had to back our structures and play for the Sharks.”
Captain Marco Wentzel paid tribute to the unwavering support his side had received amid a dismal run of results.
“We were just happy to get a win on a very long tour,” said Wentzel.
“Things haven’t gone well for us this year and when that happens it’s easy for the knives to come out. I just want to thank the people that stuck with us, it’s hard to support when a team like the Sharks is not doing well.
“We’ve had some very close results and some very bad results.”
The Reds, meanwhile, had been looking to follow up their 46-29 win over the Rebels last week with another over their South African opposition. Reds captain James Slipper said his team gave away too much ball to a hungry Sharks outfit.
“The plan was to come out here and get back to back wins but it wasn’t to be,” said Slipper.
“We didn’t cherish the ball and just gave the Sharks too much ball.”
The expansive play of the Reds often proved costly according to Slipper.
“We’re after wins and when you’re throwing the ball around like that you’re not able to build consistency and attack. We were guilty of throwing the ball around a bit too much tonight. “The Sharks just ate the turnovers up.” – ANA
Original source: Continuity key for Sharks - Bismarck