Sharks face their bogey side?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 8 Apr 2009 at 08:02
Tagged with : ,

The Cheetahs might be dragging along at the foot of the Super 14 log but the Sharks still regard them as a major threat as they look ahead to Saturday’s game in Bloemfontein.

John Bishop,

Both head coach John Plumtree and his assistant Grant Bashford have this week described the Cheetahs as the Sharks’ “bogey side”.

“They will be waiting for us up there in Bloem with their Harley’s roaring,” said Plumtree after the Sharks had beaten the Hurricanes.

And Bashford said on Monday that this was not just another Super 14 game. “This is one of those tough local derbies and the Free Staters will get themselves up for us. They might not have had the results this season but we do battle to beat them and it will be hard.

“Juan Smith (Springbok flank) is back and he is a major motivating factor in their side. We are certainly under no illusions.”
Bashford said that the Cheetahs had been highly competitive in nearly all their games only to fade in the final quarter.

And why do the Sharks battle with the Cheetahs?

“They are always competitive at the scrum and compete well in the lineout and they seem to disrupt our flow. This has resulted in us playing too much rugby in our own half and they pressure us into mistakes.

“Perhaps the ELVs will change this and certainly they no longer have Willem de Waal who used to kick us back into the corners and then force penalties.”

Bashford said that statistics of matches this year have proved little. “It just seems the stats are a lie and you cannot read anything into them.

Teams that have played the most rugby, like the Cheetahs, Blues, Lions, Reds, Western Force and even the Brumbies, are battling to make the play-offs.

“It’s been a weird season with possession not really seeming to count and territory meaning very little. You just can’t get caught up in the stats.”

Bashford said the the Sharks’ bye, after the 10th round and in a fortnight, was coming at the most opportune moment and it was hoped that Jean Deysel, Ruan Pienaar and JP Pietersen would all be back from injury for the final round robin games and the play-offs.

He said there was no question of resting players at this stage and there would not be any unnecessary changes for the Cheetahs.

However, the players were being managed with the squad split in two with those who have been more heavily involved have a lighter week than the others.

“There is still a heck of a lot of rugby still to be played and there are various areas where we can improve.”

A peak at the log table – with the Sharks at the top – would suggest that the Sharks are at their best but Bashford said that they were well short of peaking.

“We are still working on our attack and for some reason we are just not getting many opportunities to use the set pieces as a base. The result is that we have had to attack from far out. We’re as frustrated as everyone is about this, but the positive is that we are winning.”

The Sharks assistant coach said that other teams were having similar problems. “Maybe that’s the way the game is evolving with the new laws.”

He also praised the Sharks for their discipline. “We have done an enormous amount of defending this season but have not given away penalties and free kicks.”

“That’s an area we work at constantly, listening to the ref at the breakdown, and we’re really happy about that,” he said.


  • If you guys are even contemplating this you aren’t going to win. I understand the need to be circumspect but ffs – the Cheetahs are woeful.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.04.09 10:05:55 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire SauceCurrie Cup player
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 1) : agree. Besides, we haven’t lost to them in the super 14 in 3 years

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.04.09 10:35:42 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • OK, a question to all the rugby experts on this site.

    How does a player stay fit while he is injured,especially a leg injury?
    Is there other ways that they can stay relatively fit or do they only start playing again a couple of weeks after the injury is healed so they have a week or two to work on their fitness?

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.04.09 11:05:15 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • @Pokkel (Comment 3) : i have no idea.

    but sure they have some exercises designed at fitness of other body parts without too much involvement of the injured.

    plus diet :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.04.09 12:22:59 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    rekinekTeam captain
  • @rekinek (Comment 4) :
    Apparently swimming is good for injured athletes…

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.04.09 12:33:18 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
  • Once again the Kiwi’s are saying the Sharks cheated. They say Bismark used a 2nd ball in the quick line out that resulted in a TRY. I actually can’t comment as the Camera had moved away from the action when suddenly a try was scored. As much as Frans Steyn keeps me on the dge of my seat, ranging from shear stupidity to shear brilliance, this boy is talented. He is able to single handed pick up a bouncing ball and make something out of nothing. Bismark is another (yes I take note of the Smit factor),but how often doesn’t Bismark dissapear into a pile of bodies and emerge with the ball, he is one of the few SA players who like McCall makes a tackle rides the player to the deck and is promptly on his feet contesting for the ball. I have also been very impressed with Pietersons(sp) work rate this year, he unlike Habana is looking to be in the action. As for Ndungane what can I say he has saved the Sharks from 2-3 certian tries with his cover defence and yet I see his brother is prefered in the Teams of the week. Nothing has been said about Kankowski(sp) running and bumping off 2-3 Hurricane players I think Soialo(sp) was one of them. All I am sad about is that 2-3 Sharks passes had gone to or stayed in hand and we would have been 3 or more tries ahead by the end of the game. That is 6X tries rather than just 3X. Woo Hoo almost LONG WEEKEND just on 5 more hrs.

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.04.09 01:47:46 by Dynamite Reply

    DynamiteVodacom Cup player

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