Gritty Sharks overcome carding shambles

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 27 Jul 2009 at 09:26
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Although Friday night’s card-fest between the Sharks and the Bulls was hardly one of those classic encounters you’ll tell your kids about one day, I like to believe it may just turn out to be the moment where just a little momentum started to go the Sharks way in this year’s Currie Cup.

Let’s start off by stating that this is not a good Bulls side. I think they were somewhat flattered by the results of their previous two outings. Maybe there was a little “Loftus magic” that pulled them through against the Lions, while the Western Province game was one that the visitors lost, rather than the hosts winning it. Let’s not be too harsh, since they, too, have a huge number of players out and are blooding a raft of junior players. Nonetheless, the current crop of Bulls looks pretty soft upfront, with indecisive, error-prone halfbacks and little to offer out wide, apart from the phenomenal Gerhard “Shadow” van den Heever.

Perhaps the most damning indictment, though, was the fact that they could not find a way to beat a similarly-weakened Sharks team forced to play with only 7 forwards for a staggering half an hour of the match! Mark Lawrence, in one of his most over-the-top and pedantic displays of refereeing in a long time, did his level best to hand this one to the Bulls on a plate, yet the aimless blue horde could do nothing to capitalise, save scoring a well-worked try deep into injury time to salvage a losing bonus-point. It’s a pretty sad to note how many of their fans seem to think that this solitary log point is, in fact, something to be proud of, given how heavily the odds in this match were stacked in their favour.

Let’s talk about the Sharks, though. I thought they were incredibly good value for their win, remembering at all times the monumental extra effort that each man was forced to put in, particularly on defence, during the all-to-frequent times that the side was depleted due to ridiculous cardings. And ridiculous they were. I ask with tears in my eyes, how Albert van den Berg could have been sent off for something that an inexperienced touch judge “thought he saw”. There is seemingly absolutely zero corroborating evidence whatsoever that the alleged offence even took place. That the player was carded was one thing – that a perfectly legitimate try was disallowed as a result is something else completely. Refereeing incompetence of the highest order, only to be outdone by the frankly ludicrous sin-binning of Jacques Botes for a “sharp shoulder”. Now I’ve been watching this game for a few years and I’ve never come across the term before. To card a player for entering a ruck legally is just plain ridiculous and makes one wonder whether there isn’t some sort of bizarre agenda at play here.

Skipper Badenhorst’s infringement was a real one, sure and given that the team had been warned, I guess it was fair that somebody had to go, although carding any individual player for a first infringement does seem harsh. Didn’t big Skip do well to score that try, though? Kudos, mate!

There were solid performances all over the park, though. Pat Cilliers stood up well in the srcums and really had a beaut of a game in the tight loose. Steven Sykes was all fire and brimstone, while the twins, Jean Deysel and Keegan Daniel were at their individual best – the former sublime in his patented role of “battering-ram-fetcher”, while the latter’s support play was superb. Hats off to Botes, too, who played a much better game than he has in the recent past.

Rory Kockott and Monty Dumond controlled things well, while I felt that Riaan Swanepoel, in particular, was outstanding. The outside backs were pretty quiet, although Stefan Terblanche deserves special mention for keeping things calm at the back and motivating the troops through some pretty trying times.

Don’t underestimate the values of this win, friends. The Sharks now have just a little bit of that winning feeling back and head to Bloemfontein with their tails up – and some reinforcements on the way. An away win there, coupled with an easier game against the Leopards the following week and we may just find that the initial doom and gloom after the Province defeat may be no more than an unhappy memory.


  • three weeks on the road coming up. We can take Free State and the Leopards easily. The Lions at Ellis Park worry me, though.

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.07.09 09:31:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • Mark Lawrence was watching another game altogether. The Albert vd Berg thing was ridiculous. A so-called infringement on our 10m line and a try 6 phases later down the other side of the field gets called off! If the touch judge was so adamant why didn’t he shout into Lawrence’s earpiece and do his level best to stop the play?

    Overall, i though the bulls were terrible, especially their backline which hardly asked questions on attack.

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.07.09 09:40:25 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
  • (this article suits my post better)

    as the official chairman of the “stefan hate brigade”, i am demanding a recess for two weeks. stefan is starting to show the magic he offered early in last years cc. it looks like the guy follows orders to the tee, because it is strange how suddenly he has found form with ball in hand. as i said after that bulls sharks s14 game, it looks like the kick-it-at-all-costs gameplan was plums idea, again how long does it take plum to realise problems. i like the new stefan. even his captaincy skills are exemplary. again plum has been shown up with his insistance of keeping muller the captain. johan is a great player but a shit captain. lets see how long it takes plum to realise this.

    as for rory i was still a little irritated that he still tries to win games by himself. he needs to give the backline more ball. he is very predictable and teams are learning that you don’t need defenders out wide against the sharks cos rory is going to run around the fringes and not pass.

    in saying that, the precious little ball monty got he had a decent game. he still may not be s14 class, but if he can improve on this performance he could be a solid backup come injuries.

    mvovo is another player i feel plum has under estimated. eventhough zuks is bigger, mvovo seems to offer more heart. his defence is good and he puts in a good work rate eventhough he gets very little from the players inside him.

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.07.09 09:42:09 by try time (superrugby's kryptonite is SANZAR) Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • @CapeShark (Comment 2) : the Bulls backline asked questions of each other on attack… like “why did you frow ve ball behinds me?”

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.07.09 09:44:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • @try time (superrugby’s kryptonite is SANZAR) (Comment 3) : Agree with you; Mvovo has the hunger and heart that Zuks lacks. I think he’s one to watch. Dumond is decent, he plays the ball way back in the pocket but, hey, he distributes it pretty well and he brings our backline into play.

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.07.09 09:48:08 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Yeah, their Brummer flyhalf guy doesn’t exactly set the game alight.

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.07.09 09:49:58 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
  • @CapeShark (Comment 5) : yeah the lighty could give odwa the boot if he can keep it up.

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.07.09 09:50:19 by try time (superrugby's kryptonite is SANZAR) Reply

    Super Rugby player
  • @CapeShark (Comment 6) : he’s young… certainly one to watch. But not a match-winner yet

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.07.09 09:52:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : oh cr*p, sorry rob, only got your facebook message now about a match report, that’s how useless i am at facebook. Will check a bit more regularly from now on… :???:

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.07.09 10:20:32 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
  • @CapeShark (Comment 9) : not to worry…. I’d still love it if you’d write one… if you can find the time.

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.07.09 10:28:43 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Thank goodness I am not the only one who thought that Mark Lawrence was being ridiculous! Can’t say I remember him reffing fairly against the Sharks though.

    I thought Rory Kockoot played out of his skin on friday – i think his efforts caused the Bulle alot of headaches (more than he caused us ;) )

    Dumond didnt embarrass himself either. Considering that for 40% of the game we played with 14 men it was a very good win.

    Why hasn’t Stefan been made captain sooner…

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.07.09 14:36:14 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a FanCurrie Cup player
  • @Just a Fan (Comment 11) : Rory certainly caused Wilhelm Steenkamp a headache, if the rumours are to be believed :)

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.07.09 14:45:48 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : :lol: :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.07.09 14:56:58 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a FanCurrie Cup player
  • Monty really had a good game, i havent been a huge fan of his but he really gave it a crack!

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.07.09 15:24:33 by billy Reply

    billyVodacom Cup player
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : Pfff. Lions. LOL

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.07.09 16:02:34 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
  • @klempie (Comment 15) : we struggle to beat them away in the currie cup, it will be a tough game

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.07.09 20:44:42 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player

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