Sharks coach John Plumtree applauded his young squad after their solid start to their defence of the Currie Cup title at the weekend.
The Sharks defeated the Bulls 35-16 in Durban in the opening round of the top-flight competition.
"I'm just really proud of these youngsters," Plumtree said.
"They really stood up; the scrum was outstanding, the effort and energy in the phase play was great and the defence around the goal-line was really good.
"The challenge now will be to keep the feet on the ground."
Plumtree admitted they had not had it all their own way against their Pretoria rivals, but was pleased with his team's efforts, particularly in defence.
"The Bulls dominated a lot of the territory, but when we did get down to their end we managed to get points, which was great, be it through a penalty or a try," he said.
"But I guess it was our defence that was really important. They had to sustain a lot of pressure for long periods of time and that was where I was really proud of them."
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