John Plumtree, according to at least two separate news reports, has laid down a very clear ultimatum to his team – no more yellow cards will be tolerated.
Apart from a number of dodgy refereeing decision that have gone against the team in recent weeks, discipline has been the single biggest factor working against the Sharks in the first four rounds. With 5 yellow cards shown so far this season (2 to Andy Goode, and one each to John Smit and each of the Du Plessis brothers) the Sharks hardly know what it’s like to play with 15 on the field this year.
In particular, last weekend’s match to the Tahs was probably lost when the Sharks had both Jannie du Plessis and Goode carded within minutes of each other. Although no points were conceded while reduced to 13, the knock-on effect – particularly in terms of the referee’s attitude towards the team from that point on – cannot be discounted.
Plumtree has understandably had enough and has made it clear that the next player to be shown a yellow card will receive a “red card from the coach”. Although we’re not exactly sure what this means in practice, I guess we can expect to see Plumtree dropping players who repeatedly infringe. The major problem with this approach is that his two most prominent infringers, Goode and Jannie du Plessis, happen to play positions for which there is little suitable cover in the squad.
Certainly du Plessis needs to be stood down to get his attitude in check as his infringement was nothing other than cynical and completely intentional. Plumtree should start with the right message right now and give the doctor a week off.Tweet