As round seven of the Super 14 approaches, John Plumtree has called on his troops to step up to the mark, attack more, make use of home advantage and support, and not take the Brumbies lightly, despite last week’s loss to the Lions.
“Three out of four wins on tour was fantastic but it’s a new ball game from this week. We must make home ground advantage count and shrug off any jetlag from the return trip. The Brumbies will be hungry for victory and definitely not keen to lose two matches on the trot. They come to Durban determined to win,” he said.
Plum acknowledged that while his team had lost only one match so far, the Sharks had done too much defending and it was time for the side to show it’s potential.
“So far, we have put in close to 750 tackles and this in itself, poses the risk of injury. We are at the stage where injuries are a factor – Jean Deysel and Ruan Pienaar - and we need to score quicker and obviously get vital bonus points”, he said.
Pienaar and Deysel are recovering well, Plum hoping to have them running out for the Crusaders match or back in action after the Sharks have a bye. That’s still a few weeks off and, until then, Plum will dig into his depth reserves, bringing players off the bench into the starting line up. While he’s not keen to tamper with a winning formula, injuries throw curve balls and he’s happy with players who have been drafted into the side stepping up to the mark.
“Swanepoel, Vulindlu and others have acquitted themselves well and we are always working on the team’s momentum. Frans was good at No 10 against the Force and as long as he is given direction and keeps to the basics, he will get the job done. It’s great to be home and we gotta keep the foot on the pedal. Looking at this year’s results to date, most matches have been decided by a few points here and there, the bounce of the ball and besides the Cheetahs, every side has won a match or two and can produce the goods on the day. The Brumbies will be desperate and we must rise to the occasion,” he said.
As a point of interest, Keegan Daniel was voted, by the Sharks players, as Best Player on Tour. Plum has a high regard for him, seeing him as an outstanding footballer who is under estimated, yet steps up to the mark, reads all aspects of the game and breaks the gain line. Plum went on to say Daniel is destined to be a Springbok in future years.Tweet