robdylan

Sharks have a plan – and Stefan’s the man


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Sep 2009 at 15:41
Tagged with : , ,

According to various media reports, Sharks coach John Plumtree seems to have made up his mind about the captaincy of his team for the remainder of the Currie cup. Stefan Terblanche will look to extend his unbeaten run by four more games as the Sharks work on retaining the trophy they won in emphatic style in 2008.

Plumtree is quick to emphasise, though, that the Sharks have yet to accomplish anything and that being in pole position towards the end of the league phase means absolutely nothing if it doesn’t help you win the trophy. Retaining the Currie Cup is the ultimate prize, but the Sharks have identified four key steps, the first of which will take place this weekend.

Step one involves beating the Lions this weekend. That will secure at least a home semifinal. There’s a subtext, of course, in that a bonus point win will be required to keep the chasing Western Province in second place. Province will rack up five points against Boland this weekend and if a team like the Lions can put almost 90 points past the Wellington men, you have to back Province to add at least another fifty to their goal difference. The Sharks inability to run up a big differential against the Leopards last week has put pressure on them to retain top spot – they’ll need to win outright on log points, rather than banking on points difference.

The fact is, though, that the cart should not be put before the horse. The first priority is to win against the Lions because should they fail, they can kiss second place goodbye as well, with the Bulls sure to catch up. As Plumtree points out, the Sharks are now playing the brand of attacking rugby that should yield bonus points as a natural by-product anyway. There will be a renewed emphasis on forward play in general – and scrumming in particular – to provide better ball for the burgeoning Pienaar-Hernandez partnership to exploit.

Whatever the result on Saturday – bonus point or no – the Sharks will head to Kimberly the following week to tackle step two, a first place finish. Although a bonus-point win against the Lions will help, it will by no means cement top spot. The Sharks will need to bring back the full house from Kimberley as well in order to do that.

Steps three and four are pretty self-explanatory. Win the semi. Win the final. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Sharks are likely to go into Saturday’s game with a virtually full-strength side, with the exception of Jean Deysel, who is again likely to sit out for Mike Rhodes, who impressed against the Leopards. Riaan Swanepoel and Johann Muller are further doubtful starters and will need to undergo fitness tests later in the week. John Smit, Beast Mtawarira, JP Pietersen and Odwa Ndungane should all be sure starters against the Lions, though.



19 Comments

  • Lekka,lekka soos a cracker :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.09.09 15:49:30 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Province will rack up five points against Boland this weekend and if a team like the Lions can put almost 90 points past the Wellington men, you have to back Province to add at least another fifty to their goal difference.

    Call me crazy…but for sum reason I have a feeling its not gonna pan out like that…just a feeling.. :???:

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.09.09 15:52:31 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Comment 2) :

    And I would not mind if that feeling is right!! :twisted:

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.09.09 15:53:24 by GI Ice Reply
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  • Plumtree is quick to emphasise, though, that the Sharks have yet to accomplish anything and that being in pole position towards the end of the league phase means absolutely nothing …

    Read no further. Just learn from 2007.

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.09.09 16:18:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • The Lions will not be easy to thrash but as we saw on Friday you don’t really need to smash the opposition to get 5 points. Go Sharks…

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.09.09 16:19:22 by blackshark Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : And also learn from 2008…

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.09.09 16:21:11 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • At the end of the S14 we were in a similar situation where we didn’t just need to win but HAD to win with a BP.

    And THAT produced some of the best Rugby we had seen from the Sharks in the entire S14.

    What are the chances of a repeat this weekend.

    let’s also not forget that we were well on target for a HUGE score last week until we achieved the BP and then everyone relaxed.

    Morale of the story? We play at our best when we are under pressure.

    Quite a difference from the chockers tag the Tswanians have tried to pin on us.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.09.09 16:24:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 6) :

    True

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.09.09 16:25:15 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Go Oom Stef!! This is good news.

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.09.09 06:58:11 by JarsonX (Insomniac) Reply
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  • So its extremely likely that we will play the Bullies in the semi finals, and a final in CT. Hmmm………

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.09.09 07:02:21 by JarsonX (Insomniac) Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Insomniac) (Comment 10) :

    That is ‘IF’ WP win their semi final… :roll:

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.09.09 07:06:25 by wpw Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Insomniac) (Comment 10) : no, I don’t think it is extremely likely. We just need to get bonus points from our last two games and Province can’t catch us

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.09.09 08:22:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : and i think as long as we don’t go to sleep in the 2nd half, we should be able to do that, a bit worried about the kwasse in kimberley, many sharks teams have succumbed there

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.09.09 08:36:13 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @war1 (Comment 13) :

    Too true! Although I think that the fight is out of them, I am still wary, as they are wounded and will be playing for survival…so no < i dont think its gonna be a walk in Kimberley, but I still think we'll take it.

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.09.09 08:44:08 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 13) :

    I agree, although imo the Griquas has lost the fighting spirit. Having said that, I am weary of a wounded GQ team who will be playing for survival. Can we take it? Yes , I bleive we can, but it will be no stroll in the Kimberley Park..

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.09.09 08:46:58 by GI Ice Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 13) : We’ve lost there in the past when understrength. There’s just no way that the Sharks full-strength Super 14 outfit should expect anything less than a five-point haul in Kimberley. Simply no way.

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.09.09 09:13:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • the sharks will see their cloacas in kimberley!

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.09.09 09:28:13 by quota Reply

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  • @quota (Comment 16) :

    I spy with my eye, something beginning wit a “W”… :roll: ;-)

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.09.09 09:36:58 by GI Ice Reply
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  • Speaking of Kwasse, KP has been unveiled as the new ‘face’ of brylcreem.

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.09.09 09:41:04 by McLovin Reply

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