robdylan

Sharks gig a lifeline for shunned Johns


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 28 Jan 2009 at 11:56
Tagged with : , , , ,

They say a prophet is seldom acknowledged in his own land and this could not be truer in the case of Australian Rugby League phenomenon, Andrew Johns.

Johns is widely recognised as the greatest player (and playmaker) the 13-man game has ever seen. In a career spanning a decade, he achieved feats that are unlikely to be repeated any time soon. A 2007 UK arrest for possession of ecstasy, coupled with Johns’ admission that he had suffered from alcohol and drug problems, using both regularly, during the course of his entire career, have cast a dark cloud over the man’s achievements, though. Johns, who was hopeful of securing a long-term deal with the Wallabies as a kicking consultant, found himself a pariah both in his native Australia, as well as the larger world of Rugby League.

Johns’ personal battle against the joint demons of depression and drug addiction is ongoing – and one that he is committed to winning, with the help and support of his family and friends. None of this changes the fact that the man has a rare gift; one that he is keen to pass on.

The rigid defensive systems in rugby league have necessitated the evolution of the kick as an attacking weapon. There was no greater exponent of this philosophy than Johns and the sheer extent of the kicking options he developed and mastered over the course of his career sets him apart from any other league flyhalf. The maverick Australian has set himself the goal of working out how best these techniques – the ability to use kicks to create space and deceive the opposition – can be applied within a rugby union setting. Johns has spent the last few weeks in Durban with the Sharks, honing the decision-making and kicking skills of the key backline playmakers, most notable Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn.

The feedback, from both sides, has been tremendously positive. Johns, in an interview with a Sydney newspaper, revealed how impressed he was with the professional Sharks setup, as well as the willingness to embrace his ideas from both the players and coaching staff. He reckons that the Sharks backline can develop into truly awesome players if they can combine better option-taking with their already impressive size and speed.

John Plumtree seems pretty pleased with the results too; so much so that Johns will continue to be involved with the team on an ongoing basis. It was a hell of a gamble on Plum’s part, given John’s reputation and personal issues, but one that seems to have paid off. Let’s hope that, in this case, the Aussies’ loss turns out to be the Sharks gain.

Welcome to the Sharks, Andrew Johns!



48 Comments

  • Geniuses are often misunderstood and feel left out.

    I think very few of us can comprehend the demands both physically and psychologically the professional game brings.

    I will tip my hat for any person who acknowledged the problem and is hell bent on fighting it – he will have my support.

    As far as the skills, the move by Plum and the reward goes, this was simply pure genius in my view.

    90% of coaches I worked with and met almost never gets outside help, or acknowledge their own shortcomings. The best leaders in the world surrounded themselves with brilliant individuals. Plum seems to be on the right track here and kudo’s to him for it.

    The fact that a person acknowledged as one of the best in his field, is helping out our players in areas we are well known to be poor in (kicking and decision making) is further testament to the brilliance of this move by getting him involved.

    I would have liked to have seen this on a more permanent basis, and possibly at national level too.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.01.09 12:06:12 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 1) : I would like him to move into Frans Steyn’s house and live with him 24×7.

    Just as long as they don’t go partying together :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.01.09 12:08:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • I wonder how long ago this (kicking as an attacking weapon)was introduced at the Sharks.

    how many of us complained that there was a little to much kicking from Stef and Co. during the CC?

    Maybe these ideas were already there and now Plumtree has seen that expert help in this area would be beneficial.

    Good Thinking Batman.

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.01.09 12:12:31 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    Makes me think of that series Two and a half men… :)

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.01.09 12:13:01 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 4) : awesome show.

    Check this out…http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mGHTKmNtIKA

    Some of the little kicks are truly magnificent. Imagine Ruan and Fransie doing shit like that…

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.01.09 12:15:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :

    Dude looks pretty impressive.

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.01.09 12:22:53 by MorneN Reply
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  • Howdy kids! Back in the land of the sour pale face and the long white cloud… oh how I long for the sun of the Far East… how am I ever going to get rid of this tan line on my ring finger if there’s no sun here?

    Never having been a big League fan myself I was forced to watch a league by an Aussie mate. Suitably impressed (I was drinking his beer) he then pulled out an Andrew Johns DVD. Say waht you like the man is awesome. If he was playing Union he’d be without peer.

    I remember when he was arrested. It was at Kings Cross station about midday on a Sunday and he was coming back from the Church. The Church is a very, very dodgy expat bar that’s only open on Sunday mornings from about 10am to 2pm. Yip that’s 10am. Kind of place that sells beers in 4s, has hay everywhere, strippers for entertainment and down-down competitions. All in all a legend place… :oops:

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.01.09 12:27:40 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 1) : Geniuses are often misunderstood and feel left out.

    I know exactly what you’re talking about… :sad: :wink:

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.01.09 12:37:39 by klempie Reply

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  • @klempie (Comment 8) :

    Thats why we should stick together.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.01.09 12:39:22 by MorneN Reply
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  • @klempie (Comment 8) :

    @MorneN (Comment 9) :

    Oh my Word!!!!!!

    The one has an avatar depicting child abuse, the other has an avatar more likely to belong in …… in…… in…… (who knows) and they profess to be geniuses? :shock:

    That comment about geniuses being misundertood by their piers must be 100% spot on. :razz:

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.01.09 12:42:34 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 7) : so it’s worse than the Redback?

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.01.09 12:43:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 10) :

    I will write a thesis with pictures for you! :)

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.01.09 12:47:35 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 12) : oh dear…

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.01.09 12:54:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) :

    Muuuuuch muuuuuuuuuuuch much worse.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.01.09 12:55:11 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 12) :

    I’ve seen how long your regular pieces are, no thanks don’t send me a thesis. :smile:

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.01.09 12:57:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @MorneN (Comment 12) : I can proof read for you!

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.01.09 12:57:52 by klempie Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) :

    Too true, that is all I write!

    @klempie (Comment 16) :

    You’ll have to, it is KSA we are talking about here. Must make sure it does not go wooooossssshhhh, over his head.

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.01.09 13:05:05 by MorneN Reply
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  • The ‘Church’ & Redback. Real classy establishments. :wink:

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.01.09 13:09:57 by McLovin Reply

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  • @McLovin (Comment 18) : and yet we’ve all been to them. Well, I ain’t been to Church, but the Redback I have. Had the dodgy kebab afters as well… :oops:

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.01.09 13:18:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : :mrgreen: Yip. Never had the pleasure of attending the ‘church’. But did go to the Redback once. At least I think it was…

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.01.09 13:21:07 by McLovin Reply

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  • Hey Morne, when did you develop manboobs?

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.01.09 13:22:08 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : All kebabs are dodgy. :twisted:

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.01.09 13:24:07 by McLovin Reply

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  • @McLovin (Comment 20) : pretty dodgy corner of Acton

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.01.09 13:24:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 21) :

    Thats the mommy dude!!!! :)

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.01.09 13:27:53 by MorneN Reply
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  • Plus I do not mix green and black…

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.01.09 13:28:17 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 25) :

    So what you actually trying to say is that the missus doesn’t have any dress sense?? :shock:

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.01.09 13:32:02 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 26) :

    None at all.

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.01.09 13:37:06 by MorneN Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 14) :

    I can second and third that…

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.01.09 13:39:09 by bryce_in_oz Reply

    bryce_in_ozCurrie Cup player
     
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 28) : yourself a patron? :)

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.01.09 13:48:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 14) : Great place for a quiet Sunday drink, superb memories of the church!

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.01.09 14:01:08 by Superwors Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 29) :

    Thrice in 97′ (as it was the only place to get a drink after milling out of a few all-nighters in the vicinity)… let’s just say no wonder the Poms think Antipodeans are such uncouth bogans (and I’m not talking about the blokes)… nuff said…

    As for Joey… expect to see a few corner high balls with JPP leaping onto them…

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.01.09 14:01:57 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 31) : bring it on, says I

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.01.09 14:11:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • “admission that he had suffered from alcohol and drug problems, using both regularly, during the course of his entire career”

    Durban Poison FTW :grin:

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.01.09 14:19:07 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) :

    What position is a kebab…and in which way is it dodgy?

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.01.09 16:45:26 by Hmmm Reply

    HmmmSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 33) : Can that still be got?

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.01.09 16:57:19 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 35) : Sauce can get anything, dude…

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.01.09 18:45:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 36) : Getting bored of swazilands produce.

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.01.09 19:20:38 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 35) :

    Not only can it still be bought but it is in fact on sale in many coffeeshops in the mecca of weed.
    I’ve seen it a few times, not that I partake in such things of course.

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.01.09 19:32:25 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 37) :

    Goeie fok swaz is just not like i remember. So droog soos… nah boet you need to refine your tastes.
    Swaz is dagga. Dom dagga.
    There is so much more to the pastime than that. It is like fine wine and needs a connouseurs palette to appreciate it.

    All the different variatins, strains and blends. Not just get dom.

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.01.09 19:34:51 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • In the UK it is illegal to produce products but it’s legal to own the seeds.

    Is that cruel or what?

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.01.09 19:44:28 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 40) : you’ll thank them in later life when you don’t develop schizophrenia

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.01.09 19:56:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 41) :

    Lol. Way too late for that ou mater.

  • Comment 42, posted at 28.01.09 21:17:33 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 41) :

    You couuld always eat the seeds i suppose. Maybe I’d be able to grow a bush in my stomach like my dear old ma always told me would happen if i ate the watermelon seeds…

  • Comment 43, posted at 28.01.09 21:18:20 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 42) : fair point :-)

  • Comment 44, posted at 28.01.09 21:21:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) :

    With the increasingly ‘rugby league like’ flat defences thanks to the ELVS… Joey style chips/kicks/touches could prove very useful… let’s just hope it’s not over-done… the last thing we need is ‘old-school Bobo chips’ by Frans Steyn… handing away possession at crucial times…

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.01.09 03:52:15 by bryce_in_oz Reply

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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 42) :

    We noticed quite some time ago…

  • Comment 46, posted at 29.01.09 03:52:59 by bryce_in_oz Reply

    bryce_in_ozCurrie Cup player
     
  • Oi…who’s having a dig at the Redback? That was my local for 2 years…lived just round the corner. No need to chat up the woman, the rough Aussie and Kiwi chicks would chat you up!! :lol:

  • Comment 47, posted at 30.01.09 00:02:30 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 47) : i did too, for about a month. Ealing

  • Comment 48, posted at 30.01.09 04:14:22 by robdylan Reply
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