Sharks captain Ruan Botha believes that a lack of discipline cost them victory in their Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

The Durban outfit went down 24-17 at the GIO Stadium despite the Brumbies conceding two yellow cards.

The Sharks employed a conservative game plan that saw them keep things tight upfront and only when they were 24-8 down in the closing stages did they start using their lethal backline.

But even though Curwin Bosch scored a late try, the home side had already secured victory at that stage, having feasted on the Sharks’ infringements as flyhalf Wharenui Hawera kicked four penalties.

“It just shows you how important discipline is in a game of rugby. Giving away like eight penalties in the first half kept the scoreboard ticking for them and it’s hard to chase from behind,” Botha said in a post-match TV interview.

“Very disappointing for us (to not capitalise on the Brumbies’ yellow cards) – getting those opportunities and only scoring once. Hats off to their defence, they really worked hard, and they played to win.

“We have to make right what happened today – look at it and sort it out on Monday.”

In contrast, Brumbies co-captain Christian Leali’ifano praised his men for their ability to hold out the Sharks when they were reduced to 14 men.

“I guess that was a good sign of our resilience, but yellow cards are never something that you want in the game. You’ve just got to be able to adapt and adjust and I think we had one last week and probably didn’t adapt as well. So, nice to see that learning come in and the boys digging deep,” the Brumbies No 12 said.

“I probably wouldn’t say we were desperate (to win this week). I think it was nice reward – just constant belief in what we’re doing. It’s still early on in the year and we’re just working hard each day to get better, and it was a really gutsy effort to win against the Sharks.”

The Sharks’ next match on tour is against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday, while the Brumbies have a bye.