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Shaking off the ‘choker’ cloak


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Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 13 Sep 2008 at 09:25

Reputations are never totally underserved. For the last 12 years the Sharks have underachieved in a tournament they should have dominated since 1996.

Sharksworld contributor CapeShark tells us that Today will go a long way in helping erase this ‘choker status’.

I’ve always thought that being labelled a choker is a backhanded compliment in a way because it implies that one is largely successful. The only problem being that one is not successful when it actually counts. Of course I am referring to sport teams like the Proteas and the Sharks, and not to my own life, which is laden with success stories and tales of prosperity. But moving on…

I fancy myself as a bit of a closet psychologist, though I don’t even dare pretend to know as much as a guy like Tim Goodenough, the resident Sharks shrink. Still I am fascinated how teams as superhuman as the All Blacks are, are suddenly whimpering, legs-up-in-the-air, when it comes to the final cruncher.
The Sharks will never be in the same choker league as the All Blacks. To have last won a World Cup when PW Botha was president takes considerable skill.

However, the Sharks are chokers nonetheless. And not even the most rabid fan will deny that. Saturday represents the first real step in erasing the dreaded choker tag. From a psychological point-of-view IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. Think I’m being melodramatic? Consider that the Sharks have not beaten the Cheetahs in a Currie Cup game since 2003. That’s five years ago. And it’s been twelve (long, agonising) years since the Sharks lifted any silverware. Now when you plan for progress, as the self-help books point out, you plan to accomplish the small goals first. Duh! So come on, Sharks, break that 5-year hoodoo and move on to the 12-year bogey. If the Sharks actually do lift the Currie Cup come end of season, and pigs mysteriously take off into the open skies, then surely nothing can hold them back, not even a Super 14 final against the Crusaders in Christchurch. Hey, with BMT and self-belief, anything’s possible!

For a couple of years, the Stormers prided themselves in the Super 14 for not losing against local opposition. The fervent Cape rugby writers called it ‘the South African Grand Slam’. Then the Sharks took over that mantle. It has been this self-belief that has enabled them to consistently topple the SA teams in the Super 14. The same must now apply to the Currie Cup. And beating the Cheetahs for the first time in five years will give them that belief. Because apart from the early season wobbles against the Cheetahs and Bulls, the Sharks have turned the corner and comfortably deposed of the other teams including the sensational match last week against a full strength Bulls team. I, for one, will be watching Saturday’s game with renewed interest. Will the Sharks be masters of their own destiny or will they allow history to dictate to them?



49 Comments

  • Sharks will break this 5 year hoodoo in 80 minutes this afternoon.

    We may be chokers but at least we have been there to cohoke on it.

    GO SHARKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.09.08 09:33:55 by KSA Shark © Reply
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  • Oh and Thanks to CapeShark for the submission.

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.09.08 09:34:27 by KSA Shark © Reply
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  • Willie Roos!!!!

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.09.08 09:47:05 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 3) :

    He’s the man!!!!!!!!!! Well today at least :wink:

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.09.08 09:49:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Its testament to the incredible supporters that the sharks have..dedicated.Hell you have Bull and Lions supporters jumping ship all the time and those 2 teams have won something in the last 12 years.

    Funny the last time the Sharks won the CC I was at that final game at Ellis Park…bloody Magic Gavin Johnson missing regulation kicks :roll: al afternoon.

    I’ll have to forgive you.. it being a Sharks site and all but to say you should have been dominating is to undermine how good the other teams have been.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.09.08 10:56:38 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) :
    The one ref in SA that is synonymous with choking (or is it throttling) – to all teams.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.09.08 11:03:04 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 5) :
    I was also there, lovely warm afternoon. I had a headache the next day.

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.09.08 11:04:47 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • I agree with Cape Shark that to be called chokers means there is but a tiny part of your success story that needs attention. :smile:

    Go Sharks!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.09.08 11:30:46 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver FoxCurrie Cup player
     
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 5) :

    If we get to the final this year, PLEASE make sure you get tickets somewhere :wink:

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.09.08 11:35:51 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • good morning everyone

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.09.08 11:41:34 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 10) : Hi there SL :smile:

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.09.08 11:46:25 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver FoxCurrie Cup player
     
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 10) :

    hey SL

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.09.08 11:50:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Silver Fox (Comment 11) : @KSA Shark © (Comment 12) : good morning guys

    i just been arguin with some bulls supporters re the fact that they telling me the sharks mostly cheetah players

    so anyhows i did a quick search on both teams

    bulls have 7 out of 35 that are acrually born and raised bulls
    the sharks have 9

    she bulls have 17 out of 35 that have not played for another province from under 19 level

    the sharks have 25

    makes one wonder huh

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.09.08 12:00:10 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • infact did you guys know bakkies is a natalian born and raised ???

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.09.08 12:01:08 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • i wonder if rob knows this , that bakkies was pratically his neighbour :lol:

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.09.08 12:01:56 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • 2 other facts i lernt is that rory cockott and i share a birthday

    so too do deysel and keegan daniel , and they born exactly the same day and year

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.09.08 12:03:22 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 13) : Hehehe SL, you argue with Bulls supporters?? Man, you’ve got time on your hands!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.09.08 12:03:30 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver FoxCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 17) : lol well wifes at work doing a stock take lol

    gives me time to put them in their place
    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.09.08 12:07:56 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 15) :

    Bakkies from Dundee???? :shock:

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.09.08 12:08:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Silver Fox (Comment 17) :

    Seems to like doing worthless things that will never have a result. :razz:

    Did any of them tune you? FJ!! ELN!!!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.09.08 12:09:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • nope bakkied from new castle and schooled there

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.09.08 12:11:15 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Is rob from Dundee?

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.09.08 12:12:02 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • the bulls have mostly guys from cape region in their team

    be it western or eastern cape

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.09.08 12:12:35 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • yes robs from dundee

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.09.08 12:12:56 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • they should have dominated since 1996 :?: :?: :?:

    Okay now I will go read the article quickly…

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.09.08 08:24:05 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 25) : :razz: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.09.08 08:24:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Oh okay, was written before the match I suppose.

    Strange things happens to players when they are tagged. Like the Sharks are tagged chokers currently…

    And I mean, 12 years ago most of these kids were in primary school still yet they suffer from the same state of mind like so many before them.

    Getting rid of a tag, moving on from a mental block or challenge requires one very simple thing.

    Leadership.

  • Comment 27, posted at 15.09.08 08:27:56 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 27) :

    I agree wholeheartedly on the leadership issue and have thought about exactly that on a few occasions in the past. The selfsame guy who we ALL believe is the best leader of the bok team is also our leader.

    Okay he has not been there in the CC for the last couple of years but even in the S14 he is our leader and we have not won anything.

    That thought then leads me on to this.

    If there were log points allocated for S14 finishing positions then the Sharks would top that log. So while Smit has not led us to any S14 victories he has led us to being the “best” S14 team in SA.

    Does that then mean we are just not good enough as a nation to win the S14?

  • Comment 28, posted at 15.09.08 08:44:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • No it means that the travel that SA teams do in S14 favours NZ & Oz who are sometimes only away for 2 – 3 weeks. Our guys 4 – 6 weeks. So it’s a double wammy (travel & away).

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.09.08 09:04:10 by Ernie Reply

    ErnieVodacom Cup player
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 28) :

    I do not have the numbers on exactly how many times Smit has been available for the Sharks in recent years in the Currie Cup and Super 14.

    Realistically, only in 2007 did you actually deserve (through being one of the best) to win the S14. Also interesting to note, when you had that brainfart in the end, Smith was not on the field…

    Anycase, the leadership I am referring to is obviously mostly the job of the captain, but not solely. The coach plays a massive role in this as-well. Especially in the weeks when you go into semi’s and finals.

    Remember last year and the RWC? White said that Jones advised him in the week leading up to the final that his players (including his captain) simply needed to hear his voice now. To mentally guide them. To put them at ease.

    So the role extends far beyond just the captain. It goes through to the coach, and also the senior players.

    What I find is that when important games (derbies/finals etc) come up, players and coaches go quiet. The less that is said the better. Too much is made on being focussed.

    And the problem with that is mentally the players work themselves up into a frenzy even though they are quiet on the surface.

    Mentally their is one moer of battle raging and no-one to calm him down because neither he, or anyone else talks.

    Talking, while remaining focussed is key. People need to hear their coach and captain talk all the time, also the senior players. Calmly, focussed but not going into a frenzy.

    For some reason the South African mentality is to keep quiet and to yourself to ‘focus’.

    I think there is where we lose it quite a bit.

    What worked best for me is to tone down quite a bit in the weeks before semi’s and finals. When we practiced the whole team basically chatted through all the aspects of the game and game plan, with each being encouraged to come up with possible scenarios or worries they might have and then every now and then, run through to moves to explain or show things in practice.

    That week or couple of weeks is all about instilling calm confidence in the players. And the coach plays a massive role there.

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.09.08 09:07:54 by MorneN Reply
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  • Sharks have only lost 2 games at home in 2 years.
    S14 final — still hurts
    CC Semi last year.

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.09.08 09:08:05 by Ernie Reply

    ErnieVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Ernie (Comment 31) : is that right? Phenomenal… except for the lost play-off games :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.09.08 09:49:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 24) : I lived there from ’80 to ’87

  • Comment 33, posted at 15.09.08 09:49:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Ernie (Comment 31) :

    :shock: Is that correct?????????????

  • Comment 34, posted at 15.09.08 10:02:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 33) :
    Ever come across a Mickey Daames chap? and is he maybe family of the Daames chap who I have seen somewhere to do with Sharks rugby (age group)

  • Comment 35, posted at 15.09.08 10:03:37 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Ernie (Comment 31) :
    Nah, that can’t be correct or else this win against the Cheetahs wouldnt have been our first in 10 games – either that or we drew last year (?) or only played them away.

  • Comment 36, posted at 15.09.08 10:07:04 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 34) :

    Nope, lost to the Brumbies at home too in the S14.

  • Comment 37, posted at 15.09.08 10:07:12 by MorneN Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 34) :

    And lost against the Cheetahs and Lions in 2007 in the CC

  • Comment 38, posted at 15.09.08 10:09:46 by MorneN Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 35) : name not ringing any bells… I guess you’re thinking of Danie Dames?

    One thing to bear in mind… I was 3 years old when we moved to Dundee and 10 when we left.

  • Comment 39, posted at 15.09.08 10:09:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 36) :
    August 4 2007, Cheetahs 42 vs Sharks 22, Kings Park, Durban.

  • Comment 40, posted at 15.09.08 10:13:11 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 37) :

    @MorneN (Comment 38) :

    Thanks Morne, I thought that sounded a bit to good to have only come up now for the first time.

  • Comment 41, posted at 15.09.08 10:13:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 41) :

    4 in 2 years is not bad either mate.

  • Comment 42, posted at 15.09.08 10:14:30 by MorneN Reply
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  • Thats 4 in 17.

  • Comment 43, posted at 15.09.08 10:15:23 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 42) :

    Yeah!!!!

    Aren’t you proud of us?

    What is your teams home record :wink: :smile: Ahhhhhhhhh actually don’t worry about it. We awill be playing you in Durban. :wink:

  • Comment 44, posted at 15.09.08 10:16:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 39) :
    Yes Danie Dames is the one. Mickey Daames would have been in matric in 1980, so I guess a bit before your time. He was a very handy cricket player.

  • Comment 45, posted at 15.09.08 10:16:44 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 44) :

    We have won more away from home…

    Looking forward to that semi ;)

  • Comment 46, posted at 15.09.08 10:21:13 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 46) : I’m not. I am not actually sure why KSA is suddenly backing WP so strongly…

  • Comment 47, posted at 15.09.08 10:30:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) :

    Traitor

  • Comment 48, posted at 15.09.08 10:34:58 by MorneN Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) :

    I’m not backing them I am just stating my opinion on where they will finish the CC.

  • Comment 49, posted at 15.09.08 10:37:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

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