Rd 5 – Back-to-back losses, but plenty of upside

Senior defender Scott Gower says lapses in aggression was the cause of Saturday’s 33-point loss to University Blacks.

The Sharks suffered its second consecutive defeat, losing to the ladder leaders after failing to arrest Blacks’ second half momentum.

“Though we started off slow, Blacks applied a lot of pressure, but I thought we absorbed it quite well,” Gower said.

“We got going in the second quarter but by the second half, we had some lapses after halftime which saw them pile on goals. After that, we struggled to regain the momentum.”

The more skilful Blacks were wasteful in front of goal in the first term, as the under siege backline weathered a barrage of forward 50 assaults.

But the Sharks repelled before halftime to level the scores heading into the main break.

However, the team’s pressure stalled and Blacks broke away to set up a game-winning lead by three-quarter time.

Anthony Carroll was a force in the ruck, overcoming his much taller rival, and even snuck forward to kick a rare goal.

Young guns Josh Trew and Matt Williams borrowed hard in the midfield while Ben McLean and Will Gillespie held the fort in defence.

Despite the loss, Gower says there are still positives to propel the team into the season.

“Our contested ball is still really strong. We certainly have a thirst for the contest, but our just letting ourselves down with skill execution,” he said.

“We also need to get better on transition. But the foundations are definitely there.”

The seniors have slipped to fifth postion.

Meanwhile, the reserves remain undefeated following its top-of-the-table clash Blacks.

Veteran Sean Coote wound back the clock in a best afield performance in the Sharks’ 10.10 (70) to 6.4 (40) victory – the team’s fifth on the trot.

Mick Millar and Harry Edwards booted three goals apiece.

The Sharks take on the lowly-ranked Ajax at Gary Smorgon Oval.