Much has been said about referee Paul Mark’s decision(s) in the game between the Sharks and the Waratahs. Even John Plumtree and John Smit have broken their silence and added their voices to the chorus against Marks. But the Super 14 is an unforgiving competition and if the Sharks dwell too much on the previous match, they will regress against the Brumbies next weekend.
The Sharks team management and players need to move on from those incidents and regroup as a squad before taking their collective frustration out on the Brumbies. The matter should be left in the hands of the Sharks lawyers and most certainly not ignored but rather channeled into an improved performance.
Because, in all honesty, if the Sharks play like they did against the ‘Tahs pretty much any of the Super 14 teams on a half-decent day would beat them. The Waratahs were terrible and did deserve to lose that match but the Sharks did not exactly look like world beaters themselves.
There is room for improvement but their is hope also, especially considering the phase play and determination shown in the second half. That tempo needs to be maintained and even improved upon for the Sharks to stand any chance of victory against the Brumbies as the team seek to pick up the pieces of an up to so far disastrous campaign.
Once again, the senior players and management need to take the initiative here and make sure the rest of the squad are focused on the task at hand and not the blunders of a home town ref. The two Johns (Smit and Plumtree) have especially key roles this week (especially in the absence of a mental coach/psychiatrist) in this way.
So, I can see this next week going one of two ways, if the team are focused on what they can’t control, namely the ref and other external factors, they will in all probability self-destruct against the Brumbies and lose heavily. But if they focus on what they can control, namely their own play, they stand a good chance of toppling a Brumbies team which did not look like the team they were hyped up to be this past weekend.
How the team moves forward from the incidents this past weekend is absolutely crucial to the rest of their tour and probably the rest of their season as well.Tweet