If being written off before the seasons even starts is truly going to work to the Sharks’ advantage this season, then I reckon they are already a shoo-in for the title. I’m as guilty as all the rest in this regard, but I reckon it’s now time to stop looking for ghosts and skeletons where they may not even exist. The Sharks face the Chiefs in 10 days and we need to get behind them.
I’ve been doing some thinking about Bismarck du Plessis these last few days. I reckon I’ve been giving the dude some pretty harsh treatment, admittedly sometimes on the back of some rather flimsy evidence. Rory Kockott is in pretty much the same boat. You see, I think that I’m guilty of forgetting something important, not only about these two guys in particular, but about the Sharks squad in general; they are a truly phenomenal bunch of athletes!
Sure, Bismarck probably isn’t happy at the prospect of having to give up the Sharks number 2 jersey (not that there’s really any evidence yet that he’ll have to). Then again, who would be happy? Why should Bismarck take it well? He’s a bloody superb hooker and despite a bit of a slump in 2009 remains one of the best rakes in the game, worldwide. His freakish strength and ridiculously high work rate make him a virtually indispensable asset in the tight loose and while he very occasionally slips up in the basics of his position, these incidents are pretty few and far between. Bismarck du Plessis, on form and fired up is a huge asset to the Sharks side and I’m sure he’ll be firing on all cylinders this Super 14, determined to prove to all comers that he is the only sensible choice for the Bok number 2 jersey.
Kockott is in pretty much the same boat. He had a poor 2009 and he knows it. He remains, though, a freakishly-talented footballer with one of the best goal-kicking success rates in the South African game. He is safe under the high ball, tackles ferociously and has a real eye for the break. Perhaps the only trick we’re missing here is moving him somewhere else in the backline, where his tendency to try and make things happen on his own could be used to better effect?
Joe Muller is the other guy who is being roundly panned and I, for one, was quite pleased to see him hitting back at his critics in a recent interview. If there’s one thing for sure about Johann, it’s that he’s the ultimate professional and a team man through and through. He won’t let the side down, regardless of the fact that he’s decided to go to Ulster. Muller should thrive this year, as he’s finally injury free and shouldn’t have the unwanted burden of captaincy to weigh him down.
So let’s all stop the nonsense now. The Sharks, I’m sure, are hard at work ironing the wrinkles out of their game. They know how much this means to the fans and they are all determined to go out there and make us proud week after week. We, as fans, need to unite behind them and back them all the way. The Sharks are not out of the 2010 Super 14 yet, guys, despite what the papers say.Tweet