war1

Sharks reveal game plan: All-out attack on Super 14 crown


Written by Warren Smith (war1)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 21 Jan 2010 at 11:07
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Sharks coach John Plumtree, despite reports that he is leaving the franchise and planning to return to his native New Zealand, is focused only on the imminent Super 14 campaign writes Craig Ray for The Times. Plum, as he’s affectionately known by his players, has provided structure and instilled discipline at the Sharks – attributes that took them to the 2008 Currie Cup title.

But the elusive Super Rugby crown is the most sought-after commodity in Durban, and that’s what the coach desperately wants to deliver this year.

The Sharks have lost three finals since the tournament’s inception in 1996, easily making them South Africa’s most consistent performers. But being the bridesmaid is not enough. It’s time to walk down the aisle as the bride.

“We’ve taken a long, hard look at ourselves and attempted to identify what we need to do to win,” Plumtree told The Times.

“We need to be ambitious as a group because we know the challenge we have with the difficult tour that we face early in the tournament. The team has to remain positive and most of the guys are experienced players who are used to touring, so there shouldn’t be any surprises.

“If we can have a little bit of luck, and keep everyone fit, we should have a good chance. There is always so much expectation around us every year but that’s something I want because it says a lot about your squad.

“I don’t worry about the external pressure because it’s about preparing as well as you can. There are going to be some hiccups and setbacks along the way but I expect that, so we have as good a chance as anybody this year.”

The team was dealt a severe blow when Argentine flyhalf Juan Hernandez was ruled out of the campaign with a back injury.

Bok flyhalf Ruan Pienaar is still some way off full fitness after his knee operation, and Plumtree is scouting for another pivot to join Monty Dumond in the squad. Former Sharks player Steven Meyer is apparently one target, though the coach wouldn’t confirm it.

“A player like Juan is world-class and the fact that he’s in such a crucial position makes it an even more massive blow to us,” Plumtree said.

“The Super 14 is very important to us and the draw we have this year has made it tougher. But we’ll just have to get on with it and fill that hole.

“Ruan [Pienaar] is still not running and is busy building up the muscle in his leg after the operation, so it’s unlikely that he’ll be ready for the start of the tournament. We’re looking at a couple of players overseas.”

The Sharks are in Cape Town this week to prepare for a triangular warm-up tournament against the Stormers and Western Force. Plumtree played down initial expectations.

“We have 28 players for the triangular with the Stormers and Force, and all of them will be used,” he said. “It would be great to start the tournament with continuity but we’ve been working hard on conditioning and sacrificing teamwork at this stage.

“That was always the plan because there were a few players coming back from injury, and others who needed to become fitter, and we will pay a price for that to begin with.

“On the positive side, I hope that by the time we play our first warm-up matches we’ll have a 99% fit squad.”



26 Comments

  • Well I hope we actually do ‘ATTACK’ this year

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.01.10 17:12:53 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • The Sharks have lost three finals since the tournament’s inception in 1996, easily making them South Africa’s most consistent performers

    There’s that statement that winds up the Bulls and Stormers supporters so much. :lol:

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.01.10 17:23:33 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) :

    Although the Lions are a lot more consitent with their performances in the S14, and then those Stormers who have managed 2 semi-finals in all their years of Superrugby must not be forgotten for their consistent mid table finishes either. :razz: :twisted:

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.01.10 17:25:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : its actually one of those facts you’re never supposed to mention out loud :twisted: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.01.10 17:26:00 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : :grin: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.01.10 17:27:08 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 4) :

    @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 5) :

    somebody flicked my switch to “stir” :grin:

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.01.10 17:28:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 1) :

    and NOT with the boot. :oops:

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.01.10 17:28:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : uh oh :)

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.01.10 17:29:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • “We’ve taken a long, hard look at ourselves and attempted to identify what we need to do to win,” Plumtree told The Times

    And I hope the answer you got was, “play like we did against the Bulls at the end of last season”

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.01.10 17:29:41 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Our tour may be difficult but I think it is at least in our favour that it is early in the season before the players get tired and flatfooted.

    I am becoming more optimistic as the seasons draws closer.

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.01.10 17:31:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : but hopefully with ball in hand and not fists or flathands :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.01.10 17:35:21 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : but we lost that game…

  • Comment 12, posted at 21.01.10 17:42:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :

    Had it been any other team, we woulda won. :wink:

    I just complimented the Bulls. :shock:

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.01.10 17:43:33 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 13) : please stop. You’re making me feel ill

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.01.10 17:58:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) :

    All part of my plan to try and get used to shouting “Vic you beauty!!!!!!” :razz:

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.01.10 18:04:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) : ha! You hear I’m supporting the Bulls against foreign opposition this year?

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.01.10 18:17:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) :

    NOPE MATE!!!!!!!!!!! Not happening from my side unless it has a DIRECT impact on the Sharks log standing.

    None of this for SA stuff for me. This is the S14 and i want MY team to end above ALL the others but most of all ABOVE the other SA teams as a minimum.

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.01.10 18:31:52 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) :

    In short I will be supporting any team that will see the Sharks end higher up on the log.

    GO SHARKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [email protected] RES. :oops:

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.01.10 18:33:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : well, I reckon I’ll come back to that way of thinking after the first round anyway :) Still, need to try this

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.01.10 18:34:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • I agree with KSA. [email protected] the rest of the teams, I support one team, and anyone who beats the Brumbies! If the Bulls lose to the Cheetahs which strengthens the sharks position on the log, GO CHEETAHS (and vice versa).

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.01.10 08:20:59 by Baldrick Reply

    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
     
  • But being the bridesmaid is not enough.

    Thanks war1. You’ve opened us up for all SORTS of abuse from the Nosering Brigade with that one. :roll:

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.01.10 14:34:25 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : YES!! :roll:

    I see the title of the thread is “Sharks reveal game plan: All-out attack on S14 crown”. Very misleading since no mention is made of this being the actual gameplan by Plum. :???: Which is worrisome.

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.01.10 14:36:53 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : @KSA Shark © (Comment 13) : @robdylan (Comment 14) :

    AAAAAAND…had we played like that against all the other teams during the round robin, we wouldn’t have needed to win.

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.01.10 14:38:36 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : :shock:

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.01.10 14:39:05 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : :cool:

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.01.10 14:39:45 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : :grin:

  • Comment 26, posted at 25.01.10 14:40:17 by klempie Reply

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