robdylan

Sharks given Lions let-off


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 16 Mar 2008 at 22:54
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The Sharks emerged 16-8 victors at Ellis Park on Saturday, against a home side who pushed them all the way, yet ultimately conspired to lose through woeful finishing and indiscipline.

Eugene Eloff’s side certainly seemed hungrier in the pack and the final tally of 14 turnovers won by his men over the course of the match was testament to their superior urgency and technique at the breakdown. Cobus Grobbelaar was again immense and took advantage of a certain laissez-faire on the part of the Sharks forwards when it came to contesting on the ground. The set phases seemed more or less even, although the early loss of Bismarck du Plessis (under controversial circumstances – he was deemed to have exceeded the maximum 15 minutes time for a blood substitution) conspired to reduce the Sharks’ effectiveness at lineout time.

The opening fifteen minutes saw Rory Kockott and Jaco van Schalkwyk trading penalties. Tighthead prop Ross Geldenhuys was shown a yellow card on the quarter of an hour mark for an illegal clean, while the Lions were camped on the Sharks’ goal line. The resulting penatly helped the Sharks escape and they made good use of their one-man advantage over the next ten minutes, scoring a converted try through tighthead prop BJ Botha, as well as another penalty to take the lead out to 13-3. A further Kockott penalty saw the Sharks go into the break with a handy 13-point cushion.

The Lions will feel they had the better of play in the half, everywhere, that is, except on the scoreboard. They topped the possession stakes by 60% and looked far more creative in the backs than the Sharks did, with flyhalf Francois Steyn determined to to destroy whatever attacking impetus the visitors might gain through inappropriate kicking or poor option-taking. What was decisive, as always, was the Sharks’ defence. Relentless, uncompromising and infallible, the team scrambled to ensure that there was always a man on hand to bring down the final recipient. The Lions wingers knocked on a lot of ball, as is their wont, but you can blame a lot of that on the pressure defence applied by the Sharks,

The second half saw a lot of action, but absolutely no scoring, until Lions replacement Franco van der Merwe managed to scamper over in the corner after 78 minutes had elapsed, taking the Lions’ chances of winning the game with them, especially after replacement flyhalf Rudi Vogt missed the conversion. A torrential downpour which began 30 minutes into the match and never quite ceased did much to blunt the attack of both sides, although again it was the Lions who made more of what possession they had and seemed to manufacture more scoring opportunities. Every single one broke down, though, thanks to a final , desperate tackle, or a final pass that didn’t go to hand. Every one bar the final movement to set up van der Merwe, of course, but by then it didn’t matter.

The Sharks had a few promising break-outs themselves, the best of which broke down when replacement hooker Craig Burden (prominent on the run ever since he came on) managed to fluff a pass to a sprinting Albert van den Berg who had the tryline at his mercy, with eventual man of the match Ryan Kankowski in support. A number of other promising moves never really happened at all, mostly due to Steyn’s penchant for trying to do everything on is own, whether taking on the defenders instead of passing, or missing a sitter of a drop attempt from right in front, with a huge overlap to his left. Not a great night for the youngster, although he did do some lovely running in the build-up to Botha’s try.

The final score was 16-8, which flattered the visitors somewhat, although it was again a case of the Sharks winning a match through superior defence when they probably should have lost on the night.

No bonus point, though, which means that, although the Sharks, too, are still unbeaten, the Crusaders are now 3 points ahead having won the same number of games. Time for some deep reflection back in Durban, with a bye this weekend and a match against the fast-improving Reds before departing on the tour from hell.

As for the Lions, well, they’re punching above their weight and doing everything but winning the game at the moment. They have some beautiful runners in their side and in Baywatch Grobbelaar one of the best opensiders in the competition. Surely their luck must change in the near future? Perhaps this weekend’s match against the Reds will be a perfect opportunity to pick up some momentum ahead of their tour.

Scores:
Sharks (16) – Try by BJ Botha. Conversion and three penalties by Rory Kockott.
Lions (8) – Try by Franco van der Merwe and a penatly by Jaco van Schalkwyk



148 Comments

  • How is our injury situation looking?

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.03.08 22:57:18 by Villie Reply
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  • Haven’t heard of anyone new that’s hurt themselves. We should have Carstens and Taione available for the next match, in addition to everyone who played against the Lions.

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.03.08 23:00:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • Cool. That is good news. We have a BYE this weekend, right?

    Wonder where Dick will look to use Taione? I would imagine as a loosie rather than at centre. He will probably initially start on bench as he is a great sub to have coz he can cover both at forward or in the backs. (allows us to mix up our bench a bit)

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.03.08 23:08:20 by Villie Reply
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  • In essence we made the same mistake as the Bulls thinking we could just rock up and win.

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.03.08 07:38:23 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • dick is managing things quite well. resting key okes when needed, now we have a break, then the reds before the tour from hell starts.

    the lions forwards did well, the only team that has effectively neutralised the sharks maul so far. a pity they save these performances for other sa sides.

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.03.08 07:39:24 by knersboy Reply

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  • Yip us and the Hurricanes have bye’s this weekend.

    http://www.sharksworld.co.za/super-14-2008-fixtures/

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.03.08 07:40:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Goodmorning everybody… :sad:

    Francois Steyn… :roll:

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.03.08 07:46:24 by Charlie Reply

    CharlieSuper Rugby player
     
  • Charlie

    ANYTHING to get Adi in the starting Lineup hey. :wink:

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.03.08 08:18:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • KSA,

    Nope, ANYTHING to make you realise poor Fransie is no flyhalf nor inside centre :shock: he should stick to 15… :twisted: Adi Jacobs surely does not need a starting birth to prove his worth… :wink:

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.03.08 08:34:55 by Charlie Reply

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  • I watched the game and i was hugely disappointed in Steyn’s performance.

    He did a few good things on attack in the 1st half but he made some stupid decisions quite a few times.

    Like the drop kick with his left foot while in front of the posts.

    And kicking the ball away (on attack) when there was a chance for them to run at the woeful Lions backs.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.03.08 08:39:21 by wpw Reply
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  • Hi Charlie.

    Steyn has done NOTHING so far this season. He needs to step up to the plate and Dick shouldn’t play him based on last season’s form.

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.03.08 08:42:18 by wpw Reply
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  • wpw,

    On both occassions the Sharks had a overlap… :wink:
    Craig Burden also stuffed up a try with a skip pass… :shock:
    So another bonus point down the drain… :roll:
    Anyway, no stress this weekend because of a bye, but we’re facing the Sharks official Super Rugby bogey team, the Reds… :twisted:

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.03.08 08:45:25 by Charlie Reply

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  • wpw,

    Dick Muir should have taken him off the field to release him from his misery, he rather opt to replace Odwa Ndungane who had a very good afternoon on the park… :evil:

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.03.08 08:47:26 by Charlie Reply

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  • Steyn WAS shocking on Saturday. NO discussion needed.

    But we are back in the same loop and I will only say this once and then give up :wink:

    Steyn is a WC winning 12.
    Playing him out of position at 10 or 15 and then rating his performance and saying he has lost form is not on.
    Let him play 12 and if he has a shocker then I will agree that he has lost form.

    Trying to rate Earl Rose’s ability as a lock because he played there for the Lions a month or so ago is not really acceptable is it?

    Same with Steyn. We all know he is very suspect at 10 so why be surprised when he has a shocker at 10. he had shockers there for us last year in the S14 as well and will have more shockers there if they continue to try and play him at 10.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.03.08 08:47:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • You guys will beat the Reds…

    I think you stand a great chance of making the final once Paddy arrives…

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.03.08 08:52:19 by wpw Reply
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  • Fair-enough KSA…

    didn’t watch the game :cry: but I wasn’t too chuffed with the result…especially that bit about a dry second half. We’ve seen how the NZ and AUS teams come back stronger in the 2nd half and if we can only be creative for 40 minutes we’ll suffer. Come on Sharks…

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.03.08 08:53:46 by blackshark Reply

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  • When Stayen get’s the ball this goes through his mind…

    1. Kick the ball or
    2. Drop Kick or
    3. I am not going to pass the ball or
    4. Bash it up… :roll:

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.03.08 08:55:17 by Charlie Reply

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  • KSA

    If a player is off form he is OFF FORM.

    It would be unfair to drop a guy like Barritt just to accommodate Steyn at 12.

    Imho Barritt has done nothing wrong and should be dropped only if he is not playing well.

    Steyn aint playing well at all and i doubt it if he will do better at 12.

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.03.08 08:55:52 by wpw Reply
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  • i think you guys are wrong :twisted:

    i love this hard in your face, pressure game that the Sharks are playing
    …we may not be the Crusaders, but when this team gels on attack they’ll thump anybody..so far we’ve just seen glimpses.
    if Frans’ mistakes and bad choices were his only contibution to the game, i’d also think about benching him, but he’s always in the thick of things, making tackles, covering the back 3,trying to start attacks…he and the whole team get 100% for effort. nothing like the dismal, submissive bulls or up and down lions and cheetahs

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.03.08 08:59:05 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • Since Barritt can’t do any wrong…how about we try HIM at 10?

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.03.08 09:00:04 by blackshark Reply

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  • KSA,

    Ouch, we’re talking about backline play, Earl Rose can slot in easily from 9 to 15… but surely not @ lock :wink:

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.03.08 09:00:30 by Charlie Reply

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  • Charlie

    Dont be so hard on Francois. He is very talented and its just a matter of time before he’s back to his best.

    The Sharks should have annihilated the Lions. They’ve probably got the best ‘bench’ players out there of all the S14 teams.

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.03.08 09:00:34 by wpw Reply
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  • I am not hard on him, just plain honest, refrain from making your name “gat” infront of a international audience… :sad:

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.03.08 09:03:03 by Charlie Reply

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  • spyker

    I just think Steyn’s decision making has been a bit poor since the S14 began.

    Its very frustrating seeing him do this year in and year out. By now he should have learned a lot by playing alongside experienced guys like Butch, Percy and Ruan.

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.03.08 09:04:05 by wpw Reply
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  • wpw,

    To be honest, Schalk Burger are the only standout player from the WC winning team… :roll:

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.03.08 09:05:45 by Charlie Reply

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  • Since Barritt can’t do any wrong…how about we try HIM at 10?

    17.03.08 09:00:04 – blackshark Edit

    There you go!!!!!!!!!!

    And then we’ll chat again.

  • Comment 26, posted at 17.03.08 09:06:39 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Rose can maybe slot in anywhere in the backline but he played at lock for the Lions through necessity and did poorly.

    Steyn played at 10 (although not through necessity) and did poorly.

    Rose wasn’t dropped because he sucked at lock, Why should Steyn be dropped coz he sucked at 10?

    (JUST incase there is some confusion I know Rose played at 5 because of an extraordinary situation and should not be rated on that performance in ANY WAY)

  • Comment 27, posted at 17.03.08 09:11:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • gm everyone
    TT mate although i agree with what ur saying lets not lose focus and start dissing the guys

    we do need the extra points desperately i agee

    now here is the team i would like to see start next game
    and i believe they could make it happen for the bonus point

    15 ruan
    14 stefan
    13 barritt
    12 steyn
    11 murray
    10 fred
    09 cockott
    08 ryan
    07 botes
    06 daniel
    05 muller
    04 aj
    03 bj
    02 bismark
    01 carstens

    16 burden
    17 jannie
    18 beast
    19 albert
    20 epi
    21 jacobs
    22 another back or deysel the flank but epi covers flank and center

    jp needs to find his head it aint on the game thats for sure

    6. Posted by sharks_lover on Monday, March 17, 2008 – 09:07

  • Comment 28, posted at 17.03.08 09:16:35 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • “…Why should Steyn be dropped coz he sucked at 10? ”

    ‘Coz no matter where he play, he just want to drop the ball… :roll:

  • Comment 29, posted at 17.03.08 09:17:22 by Charlie Reply

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  • wpw

    there’s no doubt Steyn’s been making poor decisions and its frustrating, my point is different, he’s making huge contributions in other areas… he’s fearless (and not afraid of making his name gat)… for me he’ll be our Butch James plus

  • Comment 30, posted at 17.03.08 09:18:00 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • I didn’t see anyone moaning when Steyns two drop goals won the Boks a test match.

    And I am sure if the coach had an issue with the drop goal he would have spoken to Steyn about it.

  • Comment 31, posted at 17.03.08 09:20:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Charlie…

    i think Adi’s great too, he he

  • Comment 32, posted at 17.03.08 09:20:25 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • KSA, you are only as good as your last game… ;)

  • Comment 33, posted at 17.03.08 09:23:15 by Charlie Reply

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  • spyker dropping steyn would be huge mistake
    i am for given a position and left there
    center is where he plays best so leave him there

    only problem is we keep changing the side or where players play
    i know in the side i just posted its changing again

    i just believe that would be a great side if left to continue together game after game

    players confidence will grow and believe in each other will grow

  • Comment 34, posted at 17.03.08 09:23:59 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • 15 ruan
    14 stefan
    13 barritt
    12 steyn
    11 murray
    17.03.08 09:16:35 – sharks_lover

    You’re not the first person who wants waylon on the wing…did JP play that badly?

    Do you think DM will be willing to have so many changes at this stage of the tournament without being forced by injuries…and before we even lose a game?

    Ok…

  • Comment 35, posted at 17.03.08 09:24:44 by blackshark Reply

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  • Spyker,

    So are Murray, Ndungane, Kockott, etc…
    Frans Steyn can be too, but he need to play @ 15 and realise that he is part of a team and not a one man show… :razz:

  • Comment 36, posted at 17.03.08 09:26:06 by Charlie Reply

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  • I thought JP was pretty bloody good on Sat! Shows how opinions differ, hey? :-)

  • Comment 37, posted at 17.03.08 09:26:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • the more the same team plays together the beter they will get
    when it rains it seems there is not enough trust to keep the game open

    the lions ran at us in the rain big time, surely if they can we can
    we afterall have a far better team

  • Comment 38, posted at 17.03.08 09:27:19 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • sharks_lover,

    Barritt’s to slow for a 13… :wink:

  • Comment 39, posted at 17.03.08 09:27:42 by Charlie Reply

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  • Frans Steyn can be too, but he need to play @ 15 and realise that he is part of a team and not a one man show…

    17.03.08 09:26:06 – Charlie Edit

    Anything to keep a window open for Adi at 12? :wink:

  • Comment 40, posted at 17.03.08 09:28:23 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • sharks_lover,

    Mmm, the rain are no excuse at all, I have mentioned earlier how 3 try scoring oppertunities was messed up… :evil:

  • Comment 41, posted at 17.03.08 09:29:37 by Charlie Reply

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  • But Terblanche is a far better fullback than Steyn. Problem is, there are other players in better form in all of the places that Steyn can play

  • Comment 42, posted at 17.03.08 09:30:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • Adi are used as a super sub boet, and doing brilliant… :wink:

  • Comment 43, posted at 17.03.08 09:30:36 by Charlie Reply

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  • hiyas black shark mate

    jp is not playing that well mate he is very indesisive when running , he is not defending well

    maybe a short stint on the bench would bring back the fire and talent we all know he has

    also i feel steyn must play his best position being inside center and ruan is just such a good player you want him in a position of space where he can cause havock

    dont get me wrong i aint anti jp , im really hoping he finids his form like last year then the other teams will shit , because he can make things happen

  • Comment 44, posted at 17.03.08 09:31:17 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • i think these awful long range drops Frans has been making will become a tactic to get the opposition back into their 22… moer the ball over the deadball line and you dont have to go back to where you kicked it from :twisted:

  • Comment 45, posted at 17.03.08 09:31:26 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • KSA,

    IMO, no matter where Jacobs play, 10-15 he makes a difference… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 46, posted at 17.03.08 09:32:05 by Charlie Reply

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  • i dont think so again charlie

    i reckon that backline i posted could be huge as is
    just wish jp and odwa find full form again because that would be huge too

  • Comment 47, posted at 17.03.08 09:33:21 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • LOL spyker…why didn’t we think of that? Use his long boot to OUR advantage…

  • Comment 48, posted at 17.03.08 09:35:07 by blackshark Reply

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  • guys we are to quick to want to drop guys like steyn

    problem is they keep getting shifted and players are not used to who is running into what space

    dick has to settle on a combo amd leave it at that
    players will then gel and know each others game

    if it means steyn is fullback then so be it but leave him there

    our forwards play well because they not out of position all the time

  • Comment 49, posted at 17.03.08 09:35:36 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • :roll:

  • Comment 50, posted at 17.03.08 09:36:03 by Charlie Reply

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  • jacobs is a super sub be it for boks or sharks , he is one p[layer that makes a difference everytime he comes onto the field

  • Comment 51, posted at 17.03.08 09:36:31 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • #

    I didn’t see anyone moaning when Steyns two drop goals won the Boks a test match.

    And I am sure if the coach had an issue with the drop goal he would have spoken to Steyn about it.
    17.03.08 09:20:10 – KSA Shark ©

    Clutching…. Straws….. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 52, posted at 17.03.08 09:37:02 by wpw Reply
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  • #

    just wish jp and odwa find full form again because that would be huge too
    17.03.08 09:33:21 – sharks_lover

    Maybe if Steyn decided to pass they would have more opportunities… :roll:

  • Comment 53, posted at 17.03.08 09:38:56 by wpw Reply
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  • sharks lover…

    like you i hate all the swapping positions thats going on, but it does seem inevitable with so many talented players in a big squad and the need to rest players etc etc

  • Comment 54, posted at 17.03.08 09:39:55 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • wpw,

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 55, posted at 17.03.08 09:40:02 by Charlie Reply

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  • he dont always pass mate because of the uncertanties

    thus as i said dick must choose the side and leave it like that no mater what combo he comes up with
    the problem is uncertanty and it shows

  • Comment 56, posted at 17.03.08 09:41:25 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Like i said I didn’t watch the game but if JP didn’t have a good game we might wanna try something different with Waylon who looks a bit frustrated at OC…I personally would love to see him run on the wing.

    He’s strong offensively and defensively and after watching that run by TONDERAI I thought Waylon would be capable of that.

  • Comment 57, posted at 17.03.08 09:43:03 by blackshark Reply

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  • spyker i still say name ur 1st 15 and stick with it

    the subs here and there one can change

    we need continuity , specially from now onwards

  • Comment 58, posted at 17.03.08 09:43:17 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • i agree black shark

  • Comment 59, posted at 17.03.08 09:44:49 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • if we can get continuity and our running rugby form from last year ???????????????????? man watch out teams ur gonna chit

  • Comment 60, posted at 17.03.08 09:45:59 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • i actuallt like ruan at fullback because he is fater then steyn also kicks well and he reads a game great

    but i reckon he runs into positions better then steyn from full back
    and thats why i prefer steyn at inside center

  • Comment 61, posted at 17.03.08 09:47:32 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • hey ya lazy sods why am i talking to myself lol :mrgreen: :lol:

  • Comment 62, posted at 17.03.08 09:48:02 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • i actuallt like ruan at fullback because he is fater then steyn
    17.03.08 09:47:32 – sharks_lover

    :mrgreen: Don’t think Ruan would like that…

    Continuity is very important…but when does it cross the THIN LINE from pursuing continuity to being in denial? When do we say enough is enough and start making changes with the squad and DROP some players?

  • Comment 63, posted at 17.03.08 09:50:53 by blackshark Reply

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  • sharks lover… i’d like to see Muir sticking to his choices too, whatever they are

  • Comment 64, posted at 17.03.08 09:51:02 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • a message to daniel?? here is an :idea: DO NOT HEADBUTT BISMARK :lol: we need his fire upfront

    another thing is the much abated battle between bj and heinke

    i thought bj won that little battle

  • Comment 65, posted at 17.03.08 09:51:35 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • oops ruan is faster then steyn lol :oops:

  • Comment 66, posted at 17.03.08 09:53:19 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • sharks_lover,

    Seems like Daniel are harder then Bissie… :lol:

  • Comment 67, posted at 17.03.08 09:53:50 by Charlie Reply

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  • SL…. maybe you’ve overwhelmed everyone with your argument :wink:

  • Comment 68, posted at 17.03.08 09:54:10 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • black shark i aint for dropping to many players specially now

    if i aint wrong we unbeaten right????
    we 2nd on the log right ???

    i am only for getting our backline working better
    as a team they awesome

    even if it means he sticks with jp
    no problem , just keep them together and let them gel together

  • Comment 69, posted at 17.03.08 09:55:31 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • lol charlie
    i wasnt saying daniel is a houtkop :mrgreen: lol

  • Comment 70, posted at 17.03.08 09:56:18 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Heinke is so useless in open play it’s just not funny

  • Comment 71, posted at 17.03.08 09:57:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • :shock: wheres rob he aint talking :?: little bugger lol

  • Comment 72, posted at 17.03.08 09:57:08 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • talk about the :evil:

  • Comment 73, posted at 17.03.08 09:57:31 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • carstens is way better
    so too beast
    atleast they tackle and get involved in the game

  • Comment 74, posted at 17.03.08 09:58:40 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • :lol: spyker

  • Comment 75, posted at 17.03.08 09:59:02 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • And SL wins by a knockout :mrgreen:

  • Comment 76, posted at 17.03.08 10:02:16 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • and then the silence :shock:

  • Comment 77, posted at 17.03.08 10:02:49 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • :mrgreen:

  • Comment 78, posted at 17.03.08 10:03:05 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • just keep them together and let them gel together
    17.03.08 09:55:31 – sharks_lover

    until? WE LOSE, fight with Bulls for positions…

    Ok I’m just kiddin mate…I know what you mean…we haven’t played that badly…and the most important thing is we are unbeaten still. The Lions gave us some good practice…now it’s back to the drawing board while we prepare for the Reds.

    As long as the players rise to the occasion like they did against the Blues I won’t be too crushed.

    Steyn needs a long session with a ” brain coach”. He’s very talented and he has too many ideas…he needs to relax.

  • Comment 79, posted at 17.03.08 10:03:09 by blackshark Reply

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  • nes ek se blackshark lol :grin:

  • Comment 80, posted at 17.03.08 10:07:13 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • lets hope the lions keep the reds honest this week… we dont want them too confident

  • Comment 81, posted at 17.03.08 10:10:20 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • The Reds better not mistake us for the Bulls…

  • Comment 82, posted at 17.03.08 10:16:25 by blackshark Reply

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  • WTF???

    Steyn was awful! And it has nothing to do with being played out of position – if you play at 10 or 12 you are a PLAYMAKER – you have to CREATE opportunities for your outside backs – not go for glory by kicking dropgoals when having a massive overlap 10 metres from the tryline!

    You dont run straight at the guy in front of you and ignore the guys outside you, and you certainly dont kick for touch when counter-attacking with another huge overlap – now wonder JPP was BEGGING Steyn to use the hands instead!

    A very poor game from him, and if he wants to displace Barritt or Freddie, he must show more.

    Nobody can say that JPP had a bad game – he was awesome on defence – positionally and in terms of offensive tackles, and his reliability under the high ball has increased no end. In addition, he is really looking for work. Start looking at the inside backs instead.

    By the way, Barritt is way too slow for outside centre – our only other option there is Adi, but you cant drop Odwa after a great all-round game.

    Rob, I thought that despite us coughing up possession and not taking our chances, the result was not even remotely in doubt – the Sharks were never in danger of losing.

    But that means little – Hurricanes, Crusaders etc will be a much sterner challenge.

  • Comment 83, posted at 17.03.08 10:21:05 by Big Fish Reply
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  • reds vs Sharks were lowscoring affairs till we let loose last year and put 50+ on them, wasnt that our first bonus point game? they’re a different team now tho

  • Comment 84, posted at 17.03.08 10:22:12 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • g’mornin BF…how do you see the lions reds game panning out

  • Comment 85, posted at 17.03.08 10:28:09 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • I thought we could have lost if the Lions hadn’t made so many mistakes…

  • Comment 86, posted at 17.03.08 10:28:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • Fish is spot on, as usual, though.

    JP’s handling of the high ball is far better than it had been at any stage of his career. He is also a ferocious defender. We just need those inside him to give him half a chance…

  • Comment 87, posted at 17.03.08 10:31:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hey Big Fish,

    Good points… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 88, posted at 17.03.08 10:31:50 by Charlie Reply

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  • Morning Spyker.

    I think the Lions should take it. They are traveling this week, the Lions will not be as arrogant in their approach as the Bulls, and the Lions have the forwards to prevent the flow of ball that the Reds can thrive on. Other than that, not too much between them.

    But then again, I called an easy Bulls win! :oops:

    Or we could have won by more if we didnt make so many mistakes.

    Reckon we just dropped into neutral and free-wheeled that second half.

  • Comment 89, posted at 17.03.08 10:35:13 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Big Fish,

    What about this backline… your view… :wink:

    15. Ndungane
    14. Murray
    13. Jacobs
    12. Barritt
    11. JPP
    10. Michalak
    9. Kockott

  • Comment 90, posted at 17.03.08 10:38:06 by Charlie Reply

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  • Charlie – no-one in that back 3 has a good enough boot, IMO

  • Comment 91, posted at 17.03.08 10:41:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • :shock: this what happens when you have so many talented backs…so many combinations…not enough games…

  • Comment 92, posted at 17.03.08 10:41:48 by blackshark Reply

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  • well the bulls didnt pitch up did they, so everyone got that game wrong.

    i think the lions were more determined to make the plays and the Sharks were happy to defend and take the breakouts if they came

  • Comment 93, posted at 17.03.08 10:43:02 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • Rob,

    It’s not that they can’t, Ndungane can boet, but why kick the ball away… :wink:

  • Comment 94, posted at 17.03.08 10:45:04 by Charlie Reply

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  • It’s seems like the Bulls have already surrender to their current Super 14 Champs status… :twisted:

  • Comment 95, posted at 17.03.08 10:48:36 by Charlie Reply

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  • don’t think it would be necessary to put Ndungane under such pressure…he’s still trying to regain his form in his “natural” position.

    We have better 15′s…

  • Comment 96, posted at 17.03.08 10:50:33 by blackshark Reply

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  • Charlie… the only guy in the team who is actually doing something intelligent with the boot at this stage is Terblanche. You actually do need to kick sometimes… running from the 22 isn’t always a good idea

  • Comment 97, posted at 17.03.08 10:52:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • blackshark,

    Would just love to Ndungane getting more involved… :wink:

    Rob,

    Agree, but in IMO it’s all that he is currently bringing to the party… :roll:

  • Comment 98, posted at 17.03.08 10:56:56 by Charlie Reply

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  • no way… Stefan should stay. I am very impressed with him so far.

    I thought we were trying to drop Steyn… do we really need to get rid of ST as well?

    BTW, looks like we chased oubaas off ;)

  • Comment 99, posted at 17.03.08 10:59:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • Charlie…
    Me too…and it really sucks when we decide to pass the ball to the opposite fullback instead of our outside backs…

    Good thing the Blues lost though…the Canes should start losing soon too…

  • Comment 100, posted at 17.03.08 11:01:23 by blackshark Reply

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  • Have to agree with Rob Charlie – Stefan is so far a shining example of intelligent kicking, while in my opinion he is one of the best fullbacks in the tournie so far.

    Odwa had an excellent game, but I could definitely go for Murray on wing for a while. I would actually be very tempted to start with Ruan and Frans on the bench, as they are both very versatile.

    It does need to be said however, that Frans is just a kid, and that he probably was, until the last 2 seasons, able to take on an entire team and score each time. Unfortunately this wont work in the S14 – and maybe more playing time will bang this home.

    Spyker, like I was telling Rob, I believe the Sharks have a very specific tactic at the breakdown which makes their counter-attacking a real threat.

    We shouldn’t read too much into the turnover stats alone – compare that with the gain-line stat for the full picture. It is also wrong to say that the Sharks are playing dual fetchers – they aren’t even playing one.

  • Comment 101, posted at 17.03.08 11:02:30 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Ok…let’s try and look at the ADVANTAGES of having STEYN at 22 for at least the next 2 games…

  • Comment 102, posted at 17.03.08 11:03:38 by blackshark Reply

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  • BF…what is that specific tactic

  • Comment 103, posted at 17.03.08 11:10:16 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • Big Fish,

    :roll: You have a point, but that was exclusively IMO… :lol:

  • Comment 104, posted at 17.03.08 11:14:27 by Charlie Reply

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  • Good morning everyone.

    Wondered why Bis wasn’t allowed back on the field. Don’t think he actually exceeded his 15 minutes – he stood on the sideline for a long time waiting for a break in play to go back on.

  • Comment 105, posted at 17.03.08 11:16:23 by Nessa Reply

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  • Ness… I looked at the times in detail.

    Seems he missed the cut-off by 15 seconds or so :)

    Fish… Sharks didn’t use the rush defence against the Lions on Sat… not to the same extent that they did against the Blues. As a result, I felt the Lions had a lot more opportunities to try and get something going. I felt that was a mistake. Your thoughts?

  • Comment 106, posted at 17.03.08 11:21:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hey Nessa…

    I couldn’t watch the game…was out of town for family stuff…

    Damn- I need that PVR thing…

  • Comment 107, posted at 17.03.08 11:21:19 by blackshark Reply

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  • Sounds ominous doesn’t it Spyker? :lol:

    Simply that we don’t really compete at the breakdown or allocate players to attempt to fetch or spoil the ball. We commit a bare minimum of players to the rucks.

    The Sharks, like last year, depend more on a tight, very aggresive offensive-defence and counter-rucking to slow down and spoil the quality of opposition ball, while speeding up our own ball and sometimes forcing turnovers by the same tactics.

    Very seldom will you see our guys commit a large number to a breakdown, while the defence lines up very flat, in a very well-disciplined line, awaiting the ball-carrier.

    Guys like Muller, BJ, Bismark and Beast are very central to this tactic (and John Smit was a master of this – just hover around the ruck, waiting for the opportune moment, until BOOM – he hits the pillar off his feet with a big drive, resulting in a turnover), and in fact, I am pretty certain you will find that out tight 5 turn over more ball then out loosies.

    Botes and Daniel use their speed to tackle, link, and spoil the ball, but they arent expected to wrestle for it exclusively, as with your conventional fetcher.

  • Comment 108, posted at 17.03.08 11:22:10 by Big Fish Reply
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  • RD – thanks, a bit mean of them then to not let him back on but “rules is rules” I suppose.

    I thought Craig did a good job anyway.

    Hi BS.

  • Comment 109, posted at 17.03.08 11:25:25 by Nessa Reply

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  • Good morning Nessa!

    Rob, it was definitely there, but I think you are right – we didnt attempt to harry them as much.

    I wonder if perhaps it was lack of intensity more than anything else? We knew we had to do it to the Blues to win, but with the Lions they just never had real bite on attack.

    In addition to my above post Rob; do you remember saying that you were uncertain how the Blues performed so well despite not having the seemingly ideal loose trio for the ELVs (“Pace is the New Black)?

    I think they use a similar tactic to the Sharks – big counter-ruckers and very aggressive defence.

  • Comment 110, posted at 17.03.08 11:26:45 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Hi BF!

  • Comment 111, posted at 17.03.08 11:27:43 by Nessa Reply

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  • Speaking of flat defence… I felt we were offside far more often than not

  • Comment 112, posted at 17.03.08 11:29:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • Fish – then why aren’t the Bulls managing? ;)

  • Comment 113, posted at 17.03.08 11:32:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • BF… well what you’ve clearly described is definitely what we’ve been seeing (and has been pretty ominous for our opponents)… i was calling it ‘in your face pressure defence’ without understanding exactly how they pull it off… thanks

  • Comment 114, posted at 17.03.08 11:34:15 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • I don’t think turning defence to quick attacks is a bad tactic to use then…especially since we’ve got the pace to do it. We should just make sure we have the hands to do it too.

    Watching the Canes against Brumbies last Friday…it was amazing how the Canes would deal with a Brumbies threat…get the turnover…find the spaces…keep the ball in their hands and score at the other end. Counter-attacking at its best.

  • Comment 115, posted at 17.03.08 11:34:46 by blackshark Reply

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  • Rob,

    The Bulls usually takes some long time to adept… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 116, posted at 17.03.08 11:38:01 by Charlie Reply

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  • Blackshark,

    Now you’re talking, keep ball in hands… :wink:

  • Comment 117, posted at 17.03.08 11:38:55 by Charlie Reply

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  • We are still struggling to get that scoring pass made and caught.

    Even the try that we did score could have been so much easier if Waylon hadn’t broken inside… or if either Kanko or Daniel had passed the ball earlier.

  • Comment 118, posted at 17.03.08 11:39:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • g’morning Nessa, thanks for stayin away from EP,maybe that made the difference :smile:

  • Comment 119, posted at 17.03.08 11:40:05 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • Spyker – I am now more convinced that ever that my presence at Ellis Park is not wanted! :cry: However, it is worth it for the win! :wink:

    I am glad I am lucky for them at Loftus though – otherwise I wouldn’t be able to watch any games.

  • Comment 120, posted at 17.03.08 11:42:34 by Nessa Reply

    NessaCurrie Cup player
     
  • shame Nessa…you have to put up with those horns just for us…thanks a lot…

  • Comment 121, posted at 17.03.08 11:45:11 by blackshark Reply

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  • What horns? All the fair-weather fans have put their horns up on e-Bay by now ;)

  • Comment 122, posted at 17.03.08 11:46:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • RD is right – by the time I left my seat at Loftus – all the horns had vacated the stadium. Didn’t even get a chance to gloat!

  • Comment 123, posted at 17.03.08 11:48:06 by Nessa Reply

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  • Rob, Bulls have 2 great ruckers in Bakkies and PK, but they lack other good ruckers, while their defence and discipline is awful.

    In my review 2 weeks ago I said the Stormers would improve, and I said this because they were very disciplined on defence. Defence, more so than attack probably, is a concerted team effort, and if you want to build a team, while simultaneously building discipline, morale and faith between players, you do it by starting with your defence (Dick did this last year – remember those early, very low-scoring games in the S14?).

    The Bulls have a confused approach – they have Wickus playing as a fetcher, but the rest of their forwards are geared for the big bruising defence, which is missing since they miss numerous tackles, and seldom tackle the attacker backward.

    But this is just part of a bigger coaching and playing problem that you address in your current article.

  • Comment 124, posted at 17.03.08 11:49:13 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Ness, we have to thank you for that too, big credits accruing here :smile:

  • Comment 125, posted at 17.03.08 11:51:14 by spykerbaard Reply

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  • Msay Bakkies still managed to get away with a swinging arm after he had just been warned by the ref. Fascinates me how he continuously manages to get away with these things!

  • Comment 126, posted at 17.03.08 11:52:08 by Nessa Reply

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  • Spyker, the only way to consistently keep up a flat line of defence while not getting taken out wide is 3-fold:
    1. Good communication.
    2. Discipline.
    3. Numbers

    Number 3 is where making sure not to over-commit to the ruck is so important.

  • Comment 127, posted at 17.03.08 11:55:20 by Big Fish Reply
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  • What horns? All the fair-weather fans have put their horns up on e-Bay by now

    17.03.08 11:46:30 – robdylan

    Just trying to think what those horns can be useful for?

  • Comment 128, posted at 17.03.08 12:00:23 by blackshark Reply

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  • Xtal has a alice band set of lite up horns, shes replaced the blue tint for red and uhm, its useful when she plays dress up :twisted:

  • Comment 129, posted at 17.03.08 12:06:57 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • BF…sounds about right to me, i’ll be looking out for the ‘ominous’ tactic and the points youve made here

  • Comment 130, posted at 17.03.08 12:08:29 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
     
  • Does she whip your sorry ass while wearing horns?

    Shame, now everybody knows your secret. :shock:

    Purgatory is a beets. :twisted:

  • Comment 131, posted at 17.03.08 12:08:48 by Big Fish Reply
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  • and Fish kills this one stone dead ;)

  • Comment 132, posted at 17.03.08 12:35:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • :shock: :oops: :cry:

  • Comment 133, posted at 17.03.08 12:44:55 by Big Fish Reply
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  • No I dont wanne be alone no more
    Do you believe in love like I do
    No I dont wanne be alone no more
    Do you believe in love like I do

  • Comment 134, posted at 17.03.08 12:51:13 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Big Fish…

    Pop Idol… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 135, posted at 17.03.08 13:05:14 by Charlie Reply

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  • :evil:
    Flippen Network :evil:

  • Comment 136, posted at 17.03.08 13:06:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Great article robd…

    My thoughts exactly )actually made posts almost word for word earlier…

  • Comment 137, posted at 17.03.08 23:33:30 by Hmmm Reply

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  • Or a few days ago….

    Still a great article…

    And some of the mistakes made by the LIONS was due to the fact that they have Jaco Pretoors in the side….LoL

  • Comment 138, posted at 17.03.08 23:35:24 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • And although the Sharks did defend very well….

    The LIONS def stats were better….

    The LIONS crossed the advantage line more and missed a lower % in tackles…..

    But must say both back lines need serious look at…
    Baring Venter….all the centers look real bad…especially JacoPretoors….

  • Comment 139, posted at 17.03.08 23:41:53 by Hmmm Reply

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  • Hmmm – I was pretty amazed that I aw the game very similarly to the way you did! I must be going soft :)

  • Comment 140, posted at 17.03.08 23:42:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’m a huge fan of Walter Venter

  • Comment 141, posted at 17.03.08 23:43:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good morning everybody…
    Congrats to the Sharks even though I’m late…*grin* working like an ant…work…work work…
    I watched Super rugby last night and let me tell you Wiese, van der Westhuizen and Paulse are the most bias ppl in the world. Will never watch Super rugby again. Nothing positive to say about the Sharks apart from answering a caller’s call by saying the Sharks are a very experienced team. Nothing about youngsters coming through. If you listen to them the Lions won the game against the scoreboard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Comment 142, posted at 18.03.08 08:14:51 by Reds Reply

    RedsVodacom Cup player
     
  • 17.03.08 23:42:27 – robdylan

    Or you no longer biased :grin:

  • Comment 143, posted at 18.03.08 17:08:52 by Hmmm Reply

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  • 17.03.08 23:43:30 – robdylan

    And you know what Robd…

    Walter only got a few chances last year (playing off the bench behind Thabang) and his performance cemented his place in the side…and he was the first choice starting 12…

    He played as 1st choice (his performance in the CC semi against the Sharks helped the Lions secure the win)…

    He was dropped to the VC side (behind Doppies and Thabang)…

    He never sulked….stopped practicing….gave up…or hate his job cozz he is not the first name on everyone’s lips…

    He got another chance only through injury (Thabang was pulled in when Doppies got injured)…

    And yet again he is performing…

    That is why I have not sympathy for Thabang….at all…

    I said in any case last year he was pedestrian on defense…wpw argued and yet a few weeks ago the coach said people get around him too easy…

    HELLO…when the WP loosies stepped passed him twice in one game that was soooooo evident….

  • Comment 144, posted at 18.03.08 17:17:41 by Hmmm Reply

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  • 18.03.08 08:14:51 – Reds

    One thing does not make sense in that comment…

    Why would Pulse and Joost side with the LIONS!?!??

    And Wiese does not have a biased bone in his body…he is always up front about LIONS or Bokke performance when other commentators/presenters say uhm ahh but….

    And I agree…

    LIONS crossed the advantage line more..
    Won the battle on the ground (by more than double)…
    Had to tackle less than the Sharks…
    Missed less tackles than the Sharks (and at a low miss % rate)…
    Stole more line outs…
    Turned a scrum over…
    Had 4 dead set tries that was messed up by handling…vs the Sharks one…

    So in actual fact…the LIONS won every facet barring the score…

    BUT the fact is…that is the only aspect winning matters…no where else…so the LIONS have absolutely nothing to say for themselves…
    And if they wanna argue that they do…I will say show me the log points?!?!?

  • Comment 145, posted at 18.03.08 17:24:38 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • Just don’t agree with the heading though Rob….

  • Comment 146, posted at 18.03.08 17:28:09 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • Hmmmm… just remember who won the match, boet… ;) You okes still need to actually not drop the ball when you’re over the try-line.

  • Comment 147, posted at 18.03.08 17:40:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • That’s what I said Rob in my 17:24:38 post…

    Read the last few sentances again….

    Oh ok…see now it does not read to well..
    Meant to say the only aspect in winnging that matters is the score board…
    And then the rest on there is good for me…

  • Comment 148, posted at 18.03.08 18:00:20 by Hmmm Reply

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