robdylan

Sharks need to sort their pack – and fast!


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 28 Sep 2009 at 12:24
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Am I the only one who went, quite quickly, from being simply disappointed to rather alarmed on Friday night? The Sharks pack, admittedly not a full-strength one, should nevertheless have done a far better job of containing – nay, dominating – their Leopards counterparts. Far too often, though, it was the visitors who enjoyed the up-front supremacy.

I’m looking mostly at the second half here, when the Sharks went from a dominant, championship-worth performance to looking a real rag-tag bunch of no-hopers, incapable of stringing together a phase or two against the cellar-dwelling leopards. The malaise all started up-front – particularly at the breakdown, where the Sharks were too often getting isolated and being muscled off the ball at the resulting ruck. Just go read that again for a second – the Sharks were muscled off their own ball by the Leopards! Something very wrong there.

Now, let’s look at the team. Sure, we didn’t start with our first-choice pack, not by any stretch of the imagination. Alistair Hargreaves and Albert van den Berg are too light as a lock combo, while Pat Cilliers and Skipper Badenhorst are themselves the third choices at loosehead prop and hooker respectively. The injury to Jean Deysel has left us scratching our heads (yet again) for suitable backup at blindside, with Mike Rhodes starting his first Currie Cup game in the position. Just to dwell on the youngster for a second, I thought he had an impressive début, or rather, a very good first half. He disappeared along with te rest of the pack in the second stanza and could do little to stem the tide, despite all his bulk.

Let’s not forget, while we’re talking about weakened combinations, that we had three first-choice (or almost first-choice) players coming back into the pack in the second half, with Steven Sykes, Bismarck du Plessis and Deon Carstens all entering the fray. The resulting unit should, on paper, have had more than enough firepower to give the Leopards a proper seeing too and yet, it somehow just didn’t happen. Perhaps the spectre of injury overshadowed the importance of running up a big score in a nothing game. Then again, the Sharks’ lackadaisical performance has now allowed Province to overtake them on points difference, meaning a single lost point from here could be the end of a top place finish for the Durbanites.

The time for experimentation and easing back of players is clearly over, though, as Plumtree no longer has the luxury of rotating players into the team. He needs to settle on his first-choice pack now and give them time to gel ahead of the semifinals. The Sharks engine-room is in dire need of a tuneup and the Lions will hand them a serious test this weekend.



46 Comments

  • They started playing like individuals in the 2nd and clearly for me it was a mindset problem rather than a physical or tactical problem.

    Also remember, the Leopards, Boland and Griquas rely heavily on negative rugby to negate the bigger unions.

    If you allow the game to become a rag-tag affair you are letting them into the door.

    The Sharks lost structure, put it down to leadership in the pack more than anything else.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.09.09 12:34:14 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • Then again, the Sharks’ lackadaisical performance has now allowed Province to overtake them on points difference, meaning a single lost point from here could be the end of a top place finish for the Durbanites

    Presies… :evil:

    The Bulls with plenty of their big guns as well as the Sharks, did not impress at all…

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.09.09 12:37:01 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • lackadaisical

    How is Piet suppose to understand this article?

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.09.09 12:39:32 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : he got locked up again on Saturday, dude… won’t be out for a while this time.

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.09.09 12:40:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • tell you what, those semi permutations are still wide open.

    The Lions are the real dark horse here. Depending on how they play over the next two weeks, a lot of things can still change.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.09.09 12:41:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • rob, what worried me more was the inability of sharks players to support the tackled player. either the players run away from their support or the support takes too long to secure the ball. rhodes disappointed me and botes (as much as i like the guy) doesn’t do much at the breakdown. botes though does well on defence as he often turns opp. players, but he is poor at securing own ball. something seriously needs to sorted out soon.

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.09.09 12:42:55 by try time Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Hey Rob, long time. Just wanna ask if there is any info on how bad deysel’s knee is? If we can’t get hime fit before semi’s we will not be close to as powerful as what we can be. If we play cheetahs or Griquas it will be fine, but province and bulls we will need diesel for his ability to run over even the big boys like danie and spies. :?: :!:

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.09.09 12:49:14 by JJR Reply
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  • One thing I have picked up (IMO) over the last few weeks…although I think Mvovo is a pretty exciting player, he is just too predictable..everyone now knows they kan maar tackle him and not wait to see if will pass out – coz he never does..he needs to start sharing a bit, maybe then he’s opportunity will come. And its not like there is not support on his in or outside when this happens. :sad:

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.09.09 12:51:01 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 8) : i mentioned this last week. the reason mvovo doesn’t pass is cos he runs away from his support. he has a tendency to run to the touchline rather than in field where players can support him. but compared to zuks, jordaan etc i would rather have him on the field. he offers a lot defensively. he needs to be coached a little.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.09.09 12:56:30 by try time Reply

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  • @JJR (Comment 7) : he’s not bad at all… reckon he’ll be back for the Griquas game.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.09.09 12:57:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hernandez needs to sort out his kicking…fast….we can’t afford to leave so many points on the park come the semi’s.

    The Sharks lack that killer instinct…when is the last time the Sharks really put a team away…..I can’t even remember :cry:

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.09.09 13:07:11 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 9) :

    A few times though there def was support (Oupa was one of the times)..but in essence, ja – he needs to be taught a few tricks.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.09.09 13:10:05 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) :

    Phew!! I am glad someone agrees with me about Hernandez…thought I was the only fool who felt like that! ;-)

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.09.09 13:11:14 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • ok to keep things balanced i thought i’d point out the positives. skipper played better than burden in the set pieces. mvovo makes good yardage when he gets the ball, a little fine tuning could get him jp’s or odwa’s spot. waylon is getting back to his best. andries is looking better, but he still wouldn’t be my first choice. the ruan/juan combo is awesome and it can only get better the more the guys work together. ryan is getting back to his best. and stefan is offering a lot more on offence than when he isn’t captain. he is willing to run the ball a little more.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.09.09 13:13:17 by try time Reply

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  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) : funny thing is before the game he was practicing his kicking with ruan. ruan was slotting his from the side of the field and juan was hitting the wood work in front of the posts. now a good captain and coach should have noticed this and changed the kicker.

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.09.09 13:15:19 by try time Reply

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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 12) : wasn’t oupa too far cos he had run away from him? i remember at least twice (in the las few games)where oupa was in support but mvovo ran towards the touchline and allowed an opposition player to get between him and stef.

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.09.09 13:17:22 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 16) :

    then he should have passed earlier.. :lol: By the time its too late he wants to pass..he needs to get his timing right..

    The incident with Oupas was a week or two ago (that I refer too) there was actually support on both his sides with Oupa on one and another on Oupas side and no more defending players left. A pass to Oupa and a quick pass to ( Im not sure, but somwhow think it was Daniel) could have resulted in a defnite try.

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.09.09 13:35:40 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 17) : yes thats the one i remember as well. stefan was too far when mvovo got tackled. a pass would have been suicidal. but as you say had he passed it earlier, or as i said had he run towards his support rather than away from it it would have been a try. the only problem with passing earlier is you don’t commit the defender.

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.09.09 13:49:18 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 18) :

    U kno more than me – so I’ll take your point..but I think we are on the same page as to it’s Mvovo’s mistake…(although I dont think he actually runs away as in too fast – he might be running “wrong”)..

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.09.09 13:57:33 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 19) : i was just making conversation as the site is quiet at the moment. so a little technical argument was thebest i could come up with that related to rugby. so yes mvovo needs to sort himself out in his decision making department if he wants to be a regular starter and definitely if he wants a bok jersey.

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.09.09 14:15:55 by try time Reply

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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 19) : oh yes and you are right, when i say away i mean in direction not speed. he drifts out rather than moving to his support in the midfield. like that missed try we were discussing above, he ran towards the touchline while stef and co were in the centre of the field. so he ended up isolating himself, and if i recall he also lost the ball as the sharks had no-one to protect him from the tackler, so that stupid decision was a double blow.

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.09.09 14:19:22 by try time Reply

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  • That right winger from FS, (Mapoe?) is a lot better than Mvuvu I think.
    I hope Plums` paying attention with an eye on possible signings for next year.
    Surely we`ll be able to get guys like Mapoe, Sarel Pretorius and WP Nel at fairly decent prices?

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.09.09 14:25:19 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 22) : unless someone else has already snapped them up.

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.09.09 14:32:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 20) :

    So you were keeping me for the fool??? :lol:

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.09.09 14:33:20 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 22) : yes mapoe is looking good. i am also impressed at how juries has improved. suddenly from two bok worthy wings we are starting to get a little choice. how was jurie’s first try. 9 bulls failed to tackle him. that was beautiful to watch. pity the aussie ref was a doos.

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.09.09 14:33:27 by try time Reply

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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 24) : not really, just arguing about little things that really didn’t matter as we both agreed on the main factor. didn’t you enjoy it. it is better than refreshing and only seeing my boobs. nice to have supergirl dilute them.

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.09.09 14:35:33 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 25) : “yes mapoe is looking good.” :lol: :lol: scuse the toilet humour.

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.09.09 14:39:05 by try time Reply

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  • hey robbo, did you ever get my mails?

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.09.09 14:41:48 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 26) :

    :mrgreen:

    @try time (Comment 27) :

    :lol:

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.09.09 14:44:14 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • Why has no-one said anything about the cricket yet? :twisted:

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.09.09 14:45:31 by McLovin Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 28) : which mails?

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.09.09 14:58:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 30) :

    Coz its a rugby site?? :roll: ;-)

    Was Klemp not convincced we are gonna take this series?? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.09.09 15:00:23 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 30) : what’s cricket?

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.09.09 15:08:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 33) :

    a fing whats chirps at night… :twisted:

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.09.09 15:10:40 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • “…and the Lions will hand them a serious test this weekend.”

    If you worried about the Lions you mays well withdraw from the competition now :twisted:

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.09.09 15:21:21 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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    Worcestershire SauceCurrie Cup player
     
  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 32) : He was. Hopefully he’s recovered from yesterday’s heartbreak. :sad:

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.09.09 15:31:08 by McLovin Reply

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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 35) :

    Oephhh! Nasty!!

    I dont see anything in that statememnt saying that we are worried… :roll: :lol:

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.09.09 15:34:06 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 35) : say what you like, they have a good pack of forwards.

    It’s the rest of the team that’s shite.

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.09.09 15:36:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 37) : The sheer fact the author thinks the Lions will be a test is riddled with fear :twisted: :lol:

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.09.09 15:37:07 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 39) :

    That is one man’s opinion.. :lol:

    And I think he meant the forwards as in ‘engine room”…not the entire team.. ;-)

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.09.09 15:49:53 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 40) :

    and…ek bang niks! to know me is to fear ME… :cool:

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.09.09 15:50:53 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 30) : It pisses me off too much….the Proteas can learn a thing or two from the Boks…damn pansies

  • Comment 42, posted at 28.09.09 15:59:09 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) (Comment 40) : glad you actually read the article :)

  • Comment 43, posted at 28.09.09 16:01:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 43) :

    Sometimes I even surprise myself!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 44, posted at 28.09.09 16:07:51 by SuperGirl Ice Babe(Wingat because I CAN!) Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 42) : The the fact that it was the Poms and they go through makes me sick to my stomach. :evil:

  • Comment 45, posted at 28.09.09 16:12:41 by McLovin Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : i sent too mails before you left. you said you never received the first one. did you not receive the second either? bloody hotmail.

  • Comment 46, posted at 29.09.09 07:45:59 by try time Reply

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