KSA Shark ©

Sharks get roasted by physical ‘Tahs


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 25 May 2008 at 07:18
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The Sharks’ spirited late charge for Vodacom Super 14 glory came to a grinding halt in Sydney on Saturday as the Waratahs scored a comprehensive and well deserved 28-13 win in their semifinal.

Gavin Rich writes for Superrugby that this puts the Waratahs on course for a meeting with the Crusaders in next week’s final in Christchurch, a clash which now has added interest in that, on the evidence of the semifinal, Robbie Deans is going to be coaching his men against the core of his new team.

Deans, the successful coach of the Crusaders, takes over the coaching of the Wallabies after next week, and while he will be going all out to end his long and successful tenure at the Crusaders on a winning note, his eye on the future would have left him well pleased with what he saw from the Waratahs.

The disturbing reality for the other Tri-Nations teams is that the Waratahs have shocked friend and foe in this competition by fronting up in the exact areas where for so long Australian rugby was assumed to be found wanting. They have possibly the biggest and most physical pack in the competition, and against the Sharks they also produced a testosterone driven defensive effort that would have made the 1995 Springboks proud.

That, in a nutshell, was where this game was won and lost, with the Waratahs frightening the Sharks inside backs with the ferocity of their tackling, while the home side, with the help possibly of South African-born lock Daniel Vickerman’s understanding of Afrikaans, dominated the lineouts in the first half.

This ensured that, like in the recent league match in Sydney, where the Sharks also lost by 15 points, the Sharks simply had the life squeezed out of them. They had no room to move, space was limited, and with the Waratahs always having the go-forward, the likes of Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn and Adrian Jacobs repeatedly received man and ball at the same time.

LITANY OF ERRORS

And when the man that you receive at the same time as the ball is Phil Waugh, Rocky Elsom or Wycliff Palu, then the net result is a litany of errors of the sort that the Sharks made in Sydney and which kept them chugging in first gear, at times even reverse gear, until the 60th minute.

That was when Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie made a couple of replacements that gave the Sharks some breathing space, and it was during this period that they scored their only try of the match through replacement hooker Craig Burden.

At the time there were 11 minutes left on the clock, and just briefly some hope flickered through the hearts of Sharks supporters, but it was a vain hope, and a Kurtley Beale drop-goal from five minutes from the hooter finally extinguished the Sharks’ ambition.

Had they come back with some miracle at the death it would have defied belief, however, as the 15 point difference between the two teams may have flattered the visitors. Had Beale had his place-kicking boot on, and had the Waratahs not released the attacking pressure in the last quarter, when their passage to Christchurch was already booked, the Australian outfit could have won by 30.

It started encouragingly enough for the Sharks, with the forwards driving the ball up and the backs running confidently before Pienaar slotted a second minute drop-goal that put the Sharks into a 3-0 lead.

They had quite a bit of the play in the first ten minutes to a quarter of an hour, but it was noticeable that most of it was in their own half, and that little impression was being made on the Waratahs defence. As the game wore on, so it became clearer that the Waratahs were comprehensively winning the collisions, and Sharks coach Dick Muir’s decision to include Epi Taione as a surprise late inclusion in the starting line-up backfired horribly.

Indeed, considering this was now officially Muir’s last match in charge of the Sharks, it is now perhaps time to reflect on his contribution to Sharks rugby. There is no denying that he was the man that resurrected the franchise, and he did wonderfully well as coach, but in two successive knockout games he has made decisions that contributed to his team not picking up the silverware that perhaps his efforts deserved.

The first was last year, when he replaced the experienced duo of John Smit and Percy Montgomery for the crucial final minutes of the decider against the Bulls, and the second was the Taione selection, and possibly that of Frans Steyn as inside centre when Brad Barritt had done so well the week before.

The Sharks looked a lot more settled with ball in hand when Barritt came on as a replacement, and maybe the Sharks have paid a high price for too seldom this season observing that old dictum that you shouldn’t tamper with a winning combination.

Given the jitters of the Sharks backs, it wasn’t at all surprising when Lote Tuqiri jetted in for the first try off a ball that rolled loose after Jacobs lost it when tackled, and then Rob Horne rounded off a strong line movement just minutes later.

The Waratahs delivered the coup de grace straight after the break when their forwards and backs combined in a surge that eventually saw Beale go over, before scrumhalf Luke Burgess burst away off an intercept near a Sharks scrum for try number four.

The Sharks were well beaten, and there is no denying that the best two teams in the competition have made it to the final. Springbok coach Peter de Villiers should have been taking copious notes, for there is a lot for him to be concerned about as the international season hurries up the track.

Scorers were:

Waratahs (15) 28: Tries by Lote Tuqiri (26 min), Rob Horne (30 min), Kurtley Beale (42 min), Luke Burgess (45 min). Beale kicked a conversion, a penalty and a dropped goal.

Sharks (6) 13: Try by Craig Burden (71 min). Rory Kockott kicked a conversion, Ruan Pienaar a dropped goal and Francois Steyn a penalty.



39 Comments

  • Few things surprised me a bit.

    The fact that the Sharks got beaten at the breakdown. Again. By the same side.

    The way Vickerman seemed to know exactly were the ball was going on the Sharks throw in at the lineout.

    And Epi… :roll: I’d ask for my money back if I were the Sharks.

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.05.08 08:44:26 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • …and all the handling errors & 50/50 passes.

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.05.08 08:45:27 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • Can’t argue with any of this. An incredibly physical effort from an Aus side- the best we’ve seen in a long time.

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.05.08 08:48:43 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
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  • Time to start asking some questions of big Rudi. Sharks are being outmaneuvered in the domestic transfer market by the Bulls and WP and instead we’re relying on importing foreign has-beens and never-wheres

  • Comment 4, posted at 25.05.08 08:51:56 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
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  • yap, we have no one to blame but ourselves. we committed far too few guys at the breakdown, instead hanging back and either getting slow ball or letting them get fast ball.

    that said, they totally out played us and deserved to win. their defence was great and they played much smarter than us.

    well done tahs.

  • Comment 5, posted at 25.05.08 09:05:41 by knersboy Reply

    knersboyVodacom Cup player
     
  • @knersboy (Comment 5) : Man for man, they outmuscled us. Pretty shocking indictment

  • Comment 6, posted at 25.05.08 09:08:40 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
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  • Only ONE thing about this game made me happy.

    And even then it was happy so much as “nut unhappy”

    At least Lawrence cannot be blamed for us having our arses whipped.

  • Comment 7, posted at 25.05.08 09:28:26 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : yeah. And Brad played well

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.05.08 09:31:18 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
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  • good morning everyone

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.05.08 09:34:58 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • wow i must say the sharks blog is pathetic with all the negatives and bas sportsman ship shown by sharks supporters

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.05.08 09:36:43 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • bas=bad

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.05.08 09:37:02 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • rob if ur online comment please i have som e news

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.05.08 09:37:34 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • its the spur of the moment things, after the storm comes the calm

  • Comment 13, posted at 25.05.08 09:40:06 by jarsonx Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 12) : oooh – tell me

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.05.08 09:43:01 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
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  • seems rob is still down in the dumps

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.05.08 09:46:54 by jarsonx Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 9) :

    did you mean “morning”? Not to much good about it :wink:

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.05.08 09:51:47 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 10) :

    Are you refering to Sharksrugby, this Sharks blog or another Sharks blog? :smile:

  • Comment 17, posted at 25.05.08 09:52:59 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • lol good morning it is lol
    and yes ksa mate the sharks blog

    it is shocking to see the bad and immature crap so called sharks supporters are wri
    ting on that site

  • Comment 18, posted at 25.05.08 10:45:12 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • if those are sharks supporters ????????????????????? sharks dont need them :shock:

  • Comment 19, posted at 25.05.08 10:46:03 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 19) : Agree. We need to keep perspective

  • Comment 20, posted at 25.05.08 10:48:30 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
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  • can you imagine sharks players now reading that ??

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.05.08 11:03:07 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 21) : I hope they know better

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.05.08 11:19:31 by robdylan (Go Sharks!) Reply
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  • Roasted is an understatement….

    Fried sounds a lil more appropriate….

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.05.08 22:39:30 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • If JPP makes the Bokke squad I will fall of whatever I am sitting on when I get that news….

    He has been less than terrible this year…

    Must say Odwa improved during the comp and was pretty good near the end…

    But JPP useless or less through out…

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.05.08 22:41:07 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • I Odwa does not make the Bokke team…and JPP does…

    Then Odwa will be hard done by with the inclusion of Nokwe and JPP….he is much better than those two…

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.05.08 22:42:22 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • Better than his brother the last few seasons in fact too…

  • Comment 26, posted at 25.05.08 22:42:56 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • :sad:

    IMHO – we were beaten by a strong Tahs side…who were also having a good day…whilst we had one of our worst. The mistakes that we made OFF and ON the field put us under pressure early on in the game and we were never able to recover.

    I guess DM saw something in EPI when he assessed him before the match…but boy did he let HIM and US down…shocking performance!

    The rest was just history…the lineouts started to feel like a curse…and the less said about their domination at breakdown, the better.
    We let Waugh steal the ball a few metres from the tryline…and that for me just told the story of the game.

    Thanks for the season boys…we’ll try again next year.

    Sharks forever!

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.05.08 08:19:08 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • @Hmmm (Comment 24,25,26) :

    Odwa certainly played better than JPP and Akhona… I hope he’ll be rewarded with a Bok call-up…

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.05.08 08:21:16 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • Myself pretty disappointed with the Sharks performance. I dont mind losing when the players show some guts at least but hell they made some schoolboy errors. I actually hate losing to the Aussies. Like to listen to their commentators and hell they are enthuastic, like to here them silent. The parading of the Tah players for hours after the game on the field is just to much for me to bear. It was just a nightmare weekend even Paul Roos losing to Grey PE souties , the Bok 7s, everything just went skew. :cry: :cry:

    Luckily my beloved Stormers did not lose to any Aussie team this year. Cant help thinking they would have put up a better performance on the weekend. But its all past tense now. :roll:

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.05.08 08:29:40 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • @blackshark (Comment 28) : Surely he must

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.05.08 08:30:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 29) : Now if the Stormers had just done their job in the preceding two weeks, yesterday’s match could have taken place in SA

  • Comment 31, posted at 26.05.08 08:33:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) :

    When those Aussies were roughing Bis up during the lineouts – that thought did cross my mind…

  • Comment 32, posted at 26.05.08 08:36:00 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • @blackshark (Comment 32) : Ah well. It is what it is. After that performance, I think we should expect that supporters of other teams will take their shots. Fact is, none of them could beat us this year. I also don’t think the Stormers would have done any better on Saturday

  • Comment 33, posted at 26.05.08 08:41:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 33) : Agree with you. the Tahs was the better team on the day. still wondering about Epi. Did he play for us or for the Tahs :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 26.05.08 08:46:18 by Reds Reply

    RedsVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Reds (Comment 34) : Wonder if he got a salary top-up from the Tahs

  • Comment 35, posted at 26.05.08 08:48:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) :

    Cant disagree with you Rob but I just cant seem to get that one in my mind.

  • Comment 36, posted at 26.05.08 08:49:38 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • @PaarlBok (Comment 36) : Well, we’ll never know, I’m afraid. But your pack wouldn’t have stood up to them on Sat any better than ours did

  • Comment 37, posted at 26.05.08 08:53:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • An Epi(c) Mistake!

  • Comment 38, posted at 26.05.08 09:37:47 by CapeShark Reply
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  • @CapeShark (Comment 38) : ba da da DISH!

  • Comment 39, posted at 26.05.08 09:39:21 by robdylan Reply
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