From the outset, let me state this, I am a Plum fan BUT I believe he has made some mistakes as coach. But, I also don’t think all these calls for his head are justifiable and I think panic is setting in which is the very last thing you need.
The facts are these – the team has lost three from three, and in all the matches so far, they weren’t out of it until the end of the game. I don’t believe fitness is an issue, last week jetlag probably set in, and in the Chiefs game, I don’t believe the ref got the calls right leading up to the penalty (that was justified, but he missed hands in the maul, players off their feet and players ahead of the kicker from the Chiefs prior to the penalty).
Why, when a team wins, the players are good, but when they lose, the coach is rubbish?
I put the blame firmly on the players for not fronting up, and in particular, the Springboks. If they can’t perform, perhaps the coach needs to drop them? But then, when they came into a Sharks side that ended the pool stages of the Currie Cup at the top of the log, home ground advantage assured for the final, the Boks were rushed back in and the team promptly folded.
Plumtree was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t – if the team had lost with a young side he would have been criticised – perhaps more.
The lack of tries is another criticism, but who is to blame? Is it the backline coach (or coaches) or the players or the disruptions?
Ruan Pienaar is low on confidence. Steve Meyer returned then retired. Juan Hernandez got injured. Monty didn’t deliver. What team has to lose four flyhalves and be expected to play well?
We have a backline incapable of breaking the line, but the players we have are not suited to that. Swannie is a crash ball player, and a damn fine one at that, but he does not possess twinkle toes to do something special.
Adi is off form and Waylon can’t find his. JP is not up to scratch at the moment, although he has class, and Odwa is fulfilling a very different, almost second fullback role, but doesn’t have the pace or swerve of a Sivivatu or Habana.
The forwards are doing the job, no doubt there, but they basically don’t want to pass the ball to the backs!
I think that playing Alberts at 7 not 8 – where he is ideally suited, especially when you have a retreating scrum – is a problem, but again Plumtree is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. A former loosie himself, surely he knows more about the dynamics of the back three than us couch potatoes?
Finally the Du Plessis vs Smit conundrum. What do you do here, you have all three and only place for 2. Bissy is probably the best hooker in SA, but Smit is the best captain. He’s also battling at tighthead prop.
So the truth is, Plum is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. He throws in a youngster like Lambie and what happens if he breaks him this young?
Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.Tweet