robdylan

So what actually went wrong?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 23 Oct 2009 at 10:20
Tagged with : , , , ,

With the benefit of hindsight – and a few days to calm down, let’s have another look at the Sharks disappointing semi-final defeat last weekend and try to work out what actually went wrong.

I’m going to look at a number of the factors that I feel contributed to the below-par showing and try to apportion blame where I feel it belongs. These are in particular order.

1) Cohesion. There was none in the team, as the team had not played together before, for various reasons. The major factor here was the large complement of Bok players that needed to be rushed back into the side, coupled with a number of injuries in the last few weeks. We went into the semis with a lock partnership and loose trio that had not played together in several weeks, together with a centre pairing that have never played together. This against a settled Cheetahs side who knew each other well and had built up some strong continuity over the course of the last few weeks.

2) Fatigue. Call it burn-out, or a Tri-Nations hangover, or whatever you like – the fact is, the Boks weren’t up for this game their lack of physical and mental commitment was palpable. In hindsight, perhaps they shouldn’t have been rushed back, but how can you blame the coach for wanting to pick his strongest available side for the semis? Had he picked a weakened team and still lost, we would have flayed him. The Bulls suffered from this as well – let’s not forget that they only narrowly beat a far weaker (on paper) Province side despite being laden with Boks themselves.

3) Injuries. Say what you like – but Beast Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Johann Muller and Jean Deysel all carried injuries into the semi-final. It was pretty clear to see that none of them was anywhere near top form on the day and here the blame has to fall squarely on the coach’s shoulders. You cannot, surely, underestimate your opponents enough to justify sending injured players into battle in such an important game. Sure, our team would be weakened without them, but surely Al Hargreaves, Mike Rhodes, Craig Burden and the others would have played out of their skins if given the chance? In the front row, the coach had little option but to soldier on with Beast, though, given the freakishly high attrition rate amongst our backup prop stock this season.

4) Selection. This has been frankly shambolic all season and again, the coach has to take this one on the chin. We have been complaining about the lack of go-forward in the pack for the whole season and yet the loose-forward combibation remains woefully light. And as for picking Dries Strauss on the bench – well, we saw how badly that one backfired when we were left without a right wing barely half an hour into the game.

5) Tactics. This one has been spoken about ad nauseam. The jury is out as to whether the blame here should lie with the coach or the players. Whatever the case, the option-taking in tight games has been crap all season. Simply no other way to put it.

6) Use of substitutes. Again, something Plum hasn’t managed to get right since taking over. He tends to follow the Jake White approach of playing his starting 15 into the ground. That Jannie du Plessis and Craig Burden didn’t come on was frankly sinful.

7) On-field leadership. We’ve tried other options and they’ve failed. John Smit is the natural leader in this squad and he needs to be the captain whenever he plays. Finish and klaar.

8) Mental strength. Again, quite simple. The Sharks are lacking in this department and it shows when the chips are down. This is a collective failing of the entire management team, as they should have a specialist working with the players to address this failing. They don’t, because Plum doesn’t believe in it, apparently…

So there you have it, chaps. What do you think? What have I missed? Which of these factors was the most telling in the final analysis?



72 Comments

  • Not to sound like a Kiwi, but the ref did play his part in our downfall. Exceedingly obvious forward passes – not of the Joel Stransky ‘marginal’ variety – were not picked up. One of which led to an undeserved penalty for the Cheetahs. We were rubbish, as you said, but Jonker didn’t help matters. I breathed a sigh of relief when we didn’t get Lawrence, that was premature.

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.10.09 10:34:09 by MerckZ Reply
    MerckZSuper Rugby player
     
  • On an unrelated note; why does Joel Stransky seem to hate his old team? He’s an odious, pessimistic, nasal little twat who has nothing nice to say about the Sharks or the Boks.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.10.09 10:38:02 by MerckZ Reply
    MerckZSuper Rugby player
     
  • @MerckZ (Comment 2) :

    Absolutely! Who ever plays against us, he seems very happy when they “get back into the game”…not in a sportingly manner that is..

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.10.09 10:50:07 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • i think you are pretty much spot on, rob. but why did the players ease up after half time? fatigue or mentality?

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.10.09 10:54:01 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 4) :

    Habit…

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.10.09 10:57:55 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • Good Arti Rob.

    @war1 (Comment 4) : @war1 (Comment 4) :

    Mental, like Ice said, habit.

    Some habits are bad, and it has nothing to do with conditioning or coaching.

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.10.09 11:08:50 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 6) :

    And very difficult to break…

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.10.09 11:13:01 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • because Plum doesn’t believe in it, apparently…

    If you are looking for one danger sign throughout this whole article which supercedes anything else, then this is it…

    Not solely on the fact that it is about the mental coach, but the most dangerous thing for a coach is to think he knows everything, or refuses outside expertise…

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.10.09 11:14:17 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 8) : that’s why i think he should go

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.10.09 11:17:05 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 9) :

    I think Plum falls in the same category as Rassie.

    Brilliant coach of the game, poor manager.

    Plum to my mind (with respect) needs to coach, and leave the overall management to someone else.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.10.09 11:20:23 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 10) : if plum is such a good coach, why was the gameplan in the whole super 14 so shocking? and semifinal tactics?

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.10.09 11:24:23 by war1 Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 8) :

    My thoughts exactly when I read that bit..

    @Morné (Comment 10) :

    Problem here is again “habit” – will Plum change his ways?? :?:

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.10.09 11:26:05 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @MerckZ (Comment 2) : I was tearing my non-existent hair out. I wanted to BELT the little f*cking twerp. What is his problem?

    Sour little f*cker. Wanders around the media centre with a face like thunder.

    I think he still bears a huge grudge against the Sharks. Apparently never forgave Mac for picking Lance Sherril ahead of him for the Boks.

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.10.09 11:36:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 10) : rudi s? :)

    You know, call me crazy, but I think Sean Everitt is the guy who has the man-management skills to really succeed as head coach at the Sharks, so long as he has specialists helping with the technical aspects.

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.10.09 11:38:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : agreed, needs a bit more experience i think, who do you think would take over if plum got offered the ‘canes for example?

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.10.09 11:42:36 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 11) :

    There is quite a difference between coaching and managing.

    A good coach (technical appreciation for the game) does not mean he is a good manager (game tactics, reading the game, managing players, selections, etc).

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.10.09 11:48:47 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 16) : ah

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.10.09 11:50:51 by war1 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) :

    Must be honest, know very little of him.

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.10.09 11:55:01 by Morné Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 17) :

    I put Rassie in the same category.

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.10.09 11:55:52 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 19) : so, does this mean that the sharks and stormers have tough times ahead? would you put someone like heyneke meyer in the other category?

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.10.09 12:00:00 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 20) :

    I would say that the talent both the Stormers and Sharks have will keep them afloat – players like that does not need much managing at all, and yes, Heyneke/Jake are great examples of managers.

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.10.09 12:02:01 by Morné Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 20) :

    I dont see it getting any worse, but I do not see huge improvement down the line either.

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.10.09 12:02:33 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 22) : sigh

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.10.09 12:12:57 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 23) :

    :lol:

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.10.09 12:14:51 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 23) : double sigh.

    Plumtree’s major strength was as a breakdown specialist. He really GOT that facet of the game. I fear that his attention is so diluted now that he’s not even focusing on that anymore

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.10.09 12:15:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) :

    Should we strike?

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.10.09 12:18:27 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 26) : seems like our dbn colleagues did that on saturday

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.10.09 12:20:20 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 27) :

    You think they had inside info?? :lol:

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.10.09 12:27:09 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 28) : maybe

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.10.09 12:30:42 by war1 Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 26) : who should we strike?

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.10.09 12:42:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) :

    I’d love to sstrike a few people, but violence has never solved anything.. ;-)

    Boikot the games until 13 Feb!! :lol:

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.10.09 12:44:37 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • I think he is depresive.

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.10.09 12:52:47 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 31) : i refuse to watch any sharks games until the 13th of feb 2010!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.10.09 12:56:13 by war1 Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 31) :
    Thats what Im going to do, good suggestion.

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.10.09 12:57:06 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Bulletproof) (Comment 31) : Violence has solved alot more than we give it credit it for….but its not our style – you guys need to burn down kings park – that will get a high level sharks delegation right on your door for consultation

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.10.09 12:59:35 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 35) : then they will have no choice but to move to the MM stadium

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.10.09 13:02:52 by war1 Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 34) :

    Its just a pleasure!

    @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 35) :

    i was thinking amongst those lines – but @war1 (Comment 36) : that thought struck me!

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.10.09 13:07:00 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 35) : but the Ethekweni municipal council would love us :)

  • Comment 38, posted at 23.10.09 13:11:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 38) : they sure would, may get our jail sentence reduced coz of that

  • Comment 39, posted at 23.10.09 13:26:03 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 39) : they’d have to catch me first :)

  • Comment 40, posted at 23.10.09 13:34:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • I was just amazed at how much posession was kicked away by the Sharks in this match, it was about 60 mins into the game that the stats showed that they kicked 40 times out of hand…imagine if they rather ran half of that?

  • Comment 41, posted at 23.10.09 13:41:23 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @walter van Lions World (Comment 41) : especially given that so many of the backs seemed to have no issues beating their man with ball in hand when they just tried.

  • Comment 42, posted at 23.10.09 13:50:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) :

    You are not THAT fast on a 10km , if memory serves me right.. :twisted:

  • Comment 43, posted at 23.10.09 13:50:21 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : Hey Rob. Are we getting any more trades on FL before the final? I thought you said that we will get more trades before the semi’s, but I didn’t see any allocated.

  • Comment 44, posted at 23.10.09 13:50:43 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 44) : it was tongue in cheek, dude… the ten you got at teh start are the only ones you’ll get ;)

  • Comment 45, posted at 23.10.09 13:55:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 45) : Thanks, it might actually be to my advantage

  • Comment 46, posted at 23.10.09 14:14:56 by Pokkel Reply
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  • All my sharks kit is now safely packed away, wiff mothballs cause i dont see me wearing them for a long while!

  • Comment 47, posted at 24.10.09 06:54:51 by Rahul Reply

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  • All my sharks kit is now safely packed away, wiff mothballs cause i dont see me wearing it for a long while!

  • Comment 48, posted at 24.10.09 06:55:18 by Rahul Reply

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  • But on a more positive note… The street vendors are ecstatic! They can finally get rid of all those vrystaat flags they bought 5 years ago! And at this years prices!

  • Comment 49, posted at 24.10.09 06:57:51 by Rahul Reply

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  • @Rahul (Comment 47) : You got to show the colours through thick and thin, ask me as a lions supporter, abuse is something you learn to take, I get a bit excited when everybody bursts out laughing when I tell them who my team is.HA=HA

  • Comment 50, posted at 25.10.09 06:44:11 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 50) : Hopefully Dick will help you turn things around. :lol:

  • Comment 51, posted at 25.10.09 08:03:08 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @mbayshark (Comment 51) : I have no Doubt, he is such a possitive person and it rubs off.

  • Comment 52, posted at 25.10.09 09:49:54 by Whindy Reply
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  • Brad Barritt helping Saracens go top of the Premiership league again. Wish we still had him at the sharks!!

  • Comment 53, posted at 25.10.09 21:11:45 by mbayshark Reply
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  • 5 South Africans starting for them, while another 4 came on from the bench. South Africans kicking some English butt. :lol:

  • Comment 54, posted at 25.10.09 21:13:58 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @mbayshark (Comment 54) : I like, I like it a lot. :razz: :razz: :razz:

  • Comment 55, posted at 25.10.09 21:16:17 by mbayshark Reply
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  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY WAR1!!!!

  • Comment 56, posted at 26.10.09 08:34:50 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • Well done to Liverpool for beating Man Utd yesterday!! :grin:

  • Comment 57, posted at 26.10.09 08:38:46 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) :

    MORE…Wes.. :roll: :lol:

  • Comment 58, posted at 26.10.09 08:41:43 by GI Ice (Bulletproof) Reply
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  • hapy Birthday War!!All the best

  • Comment 59, posted at 26.10.09 09:04:00 by Whindy Reply
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  • Sorry short changed you with the happy :grin:

  • Comment 60, posted at 26.10.09 09:04:40 by Whindy Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) : and I cant even say they were Lucky :sad:

  • Comment 61, posted at 26.10.09 09:05:15 by Whindy Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) : Wes you are a very sad person supporting WP and Liverpool, shame man :mrgreen:

  • Comment 62, posted at 26.10.09 09:06:37 by Whindy Reply
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  • Resimay

    Toe hoem it mei konsern,

    I want to aplaai for the job what I saw in the courant.

    I can Taaip reelie kwiek wit one finggar and doo sum a countieng..

    I thienk I are good on the phoune and I nou I am a piepels person,
    Piepels reelie siem to respont to me well. Certin women and all the menn.

    I nou my spellieng is not to good but I find that I Offen can get a job throe my persinaletie.

    My sellerie is open sou we can diskas wat yoe want to pei me and wat yoe thienk that I am wort,

    I can start iemieditely. Thank yoe in atwaans fore yore anser.

    houpfulie Yore best apliecant sou farr.

    Sinseerly,
    lotty (short for Laurette)

  • Comment 63, posted at 26.10.09 09:31:37 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 63) : :lol:

  • Comment 64, posted at 26.10.09 09:57:27 by Whindy Reply
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  • Happy Bday War1.

  • Comment 65, posted at 26.10.09 10:09:01 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 57) :
    Hope that makes up for the 6-0 whack that Ajax got from the mighty Golden Arrows, and that in a cup final with only R8 million prize money. :shock:

  • Comment 66, posted at 26.10.09 10:11:55 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 66) :

    Dude, I don’t really give a damn about Ajax. If they win, they win…

    If not, well… WHATEVER!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 67, posted at 26.10.09 10:28:03 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 67) :
    Thats obviously what the players feel as well.

  • Comment 68, posted at 26.10.09 10:32:15 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 68) :

    Like the Sharks players in last week’s semi final?? :twisted:

  • Comment 69, posted at 26.10.09 11:27:35 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 69) :
    Yep, and ditto for the WP team in their semi, and lets not forget the Cobras that lost to a West Indies team.

  • Comment 70, posted at 26.10.09 11:37:32 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 70) :

    At least we qualified for the competition bru!! ;-)

    Oh and WP were not the favourites for their semi final match!!!

  • Comment 71, posted at 26.10.09 12:14:32 by wpw Reply
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  • thanks guys, glad to be part of the sharksworld blog family, i cant help thinking of last year this time wen i was celebrating a currie cup victory the day before, oh well . . . it’s been a good day nonetheless

  • Comment 72, posted at 26.10.09 14:35:42 by war1 Reply
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