Sharks coach John Plumtree has urged patience from the team’s followers after their disappointing result against Zebre at the start of the weekend.

The Sharks, who have yet to win in this season’s URC, dropped to the foot of the table after they lost to Zebre on Friday – a Zebre team who had not won a game for 28 consecutive games.

Reflecting on the situation Plumtree said: “When I came in, I knew there would be no overnight fix, but what I can promise our fans is that we will do everything we can to get things right and do this jersey proud again.

“I called for patience in the pre-season and it’s a difficult period right now because no one likes losing. I know that our loyal fans will stick by us, and we will make you proud once again.

“A lot of our basic skill sets let us down. Losing the aerial battle alone was key because it allowed them to dominate territory. The yellow and red card did not help the situation.

“On a positive note, we had a couple of nice moments on the attack but didn’t capitalise on the available opportunities.

“I was proud of the effort around our goal line defence and many young players stood up physically.

“This has been a disappointing tour and we have picked up some key injuries in the same positions, which have been tricky to navigate especially with eight of our Springboks unavailable.

“We could have picked up a win or two, but that didn’t happen. We are looking forward to getting back home now and will reset and continue to work hard to get some momentum going and improve our results at home,” he said.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Sharks though as they host Irish outfit Connacht in their next game at 5pm on Saturday 18 November. Connacht are fourth on the URC table with three wins from their four games.