robdylan

Running out of options


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 15 Mar 2010 at 10:16
Tagged with : , ,

Or should that be, running out of excuses? I reckon John Smit was pretty close to the latter option during the post-match interview on Saturday, after the Sharks had somehow managed to lose their fifth successive Super 14 game of the 2010 season.

Things are pretty bleak in Sharks land, that’s for sure. Saturday’s loss set an unfortunate record – it’s the first time the Sharks have ever lost their 5 opening games in a Super Rugby competition. Going back to last year, they’ve now last 7 games on the trot – in fact, they’ve won only one out of their last 10 starts in this competition, that being a scrappy home win against the Highlanders last year. Hardly the stats of a champion team.

So is there really something “new” that’s wrong with this team? Or is it maybe something old that hasn’t yet been put right and is now manifesting itself far more clearly? Do the Sharks class of 2010 really have what it takes – in terms of personnel (both coaching and playing), attitude, game plan and the like – to be a force in Super Rugby? The clear answer is that they don’t – or if they do, they’re doing a bloody good job of hiding it.

So while Smit and Plumtree battle to find new reasons to explain each loss – and they have to, because they face an angry public eager for something to latch onto – the same old flaws crop up again and again. Protection of the ball at the breakdown; this one has been an Achilles heel for two seasons now. Poorly executed tactical kicks, ditto. Discipline, again a perennial problem in the side. The absence of a settled, confident playmaker at flyhalf, as well as a settled, familiar combination in the centres. Lack of a clear pecking order and plan when it comes to front-row selection and the associated malaise of an unpredictable scrum platform. None of these things are new – they’ve been with us for over a year and the truly worrying thing is that nobody, from the coach down, seems to have the faintest idea about how to fix them.

We can say that the Sharks are literally a whisker away from turning things around and that this weekend’s game could and should have been theirs. You could say the same about the Waratahs game, the Cheetahs game and the Chiefs game. It’s a pretty unforgiving competition, the Super 14 and often the difference between success and failure is very small. The Sharks, to my mind, enjoyed the rub of the green to a disproportionate level in the early stages of 2009 and more often then not found themselves on the right side of the “luck equation” at the end of tight games. That wheel has well and truly turned now, though and the absence of that “16th man” is now exposing the flaws that, in hindsight, were pretty evident in the Sharks team all along.

This is going to get worse before it gets better, I fear. I don’t get the feeling that those in charge have any fresh ideas about how to turn this one around.



68 Comments

  • Well said, i unfortunately agree, we may be suffering alot more before things get better this year, if they do.

    I may be getting a serious bout of flu for the bulls sharks game i agreed to attend with mates who support the bulls. The differences between the 2 teams are so huge at the moment that Loftus could be the scene of a very very bad day for the sharks.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.03.10 10:26:41 by billy Reply
    billyVodacom Cup player
     
  • I think it’s all been said and maybe not one of those problem are the definitive one it’s probably a combination of all of them. The forwards have been good and my guess is that the biggest problem is in the backline.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.03.10 10:29:26 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
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  • Fresh ideas.

    Your last sentence sums it up basically.

    Nothing ‘fresh’ or ‘new’ has been coming from the Sharks since the 2007 final.

    Yeah you had some player losses, but also gained some good ones.

    Losing players is part and parcel of pro rugby, it is what you do with what you have that makes you or breaks you.

    And the Sharks has a lot, what is it, 14 ex or current Boks in their match-day 22′s?

    Nothing new, no evolution, adaptation or seemingly appreciation to stick with the times or heaven forbid, even lead.

    The most significant loss since Dick and Campo, was Tim Goodenough – these Sharks looks a mental, fragile bunch with no direction, plan or self-belief.

    Ladies and gents, it starts and end with your coaches…

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.03.10 10:29:50 by Morné Reply
    Author
    MornéTeam captain
     
  • Good read Rob….i fear you may be right :???:

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.03.10 10:30:27 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • The Sharks are out of it. There is no reason for them NOT to make some dramatic changes and to start thinking ‘outside the box’

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.03.10 10:32:30 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
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  • Sadly, you’re right. We should have been basically in the same situation last year, but for the dodgy calls going our way, so the problems were not as glaringly obvious.

    The problem is without a doubt the senior players in the side, who are not pulling their weight or adding the value that their status suggests. Our Currie Cup team were doing very well last year until the Boks players re-joined the squad.

    A fish rots from the head down. This fish has been sick for a while now and frankly is starting to stink up the place.

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.03.10 10:33:26 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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  • Any news on the injuries front? (Odwa and Oupa) Maybe this week we can give the youngster a go!

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.03.10 10:34:20 by Rvw Reply

    RvwCurrie Cup player
     
  • The Sharks were lucky to a certain extent to win the first 7 last year and we all thought they would get better but instead had become gradually worse as the season developed. I’ll be a Shark forever but through all the doom and gloom I’m very happy to see two SA sides at the top of the log playing some fanatastic rugby.

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.03.10 10:37:45 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) : Agree. It’s a pleasure watching the Buls and Stormers play. Would be great if we had another SA only S14 final.

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.03.10 10:46:12 by rhineshark Reply
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  • GO SHARKS !!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.03.10 10:48:11 by Charlie Reply

    CharlieSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Charlie (Comment 10) : I starting to feel like you now Charlie….running out of things to say! :mrgreen: ;-)

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.03.10 10:52:13 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) : Still have faith in them… ;-)

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.03.10 10:56:02 by Charlie Reply

    CharlieSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Rvw (Comment 7) : nothing so far. It’s a catch 22, though… the Highlanders game probably represents our best chance for a win (a slim chance, but yeah) and based on that, there’s no way Plum’s going to change the team for his one. He’s just not adventurous enough to try that.

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.03.10 11:00:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • Everyone from the players to the administrators need a serious shake up. As mentioned the Sharks have been on the decline since the 2007 S14 final.

    The season is now a write off, the coaches need to take some initiative and start giving some of the young guys game time to get experience.

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.03.10 11:10:15 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
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  • I’m still going with the negative player affecting the squad, or a rift of some sorts.

    Remember the Streamers last year, so close, yet so far. Who was with them last year? And who has left this year? And who plays for Bath? And how is Bath performing this year?

    Same scenario with the Sharks. Someone is disrupting the squad.

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.03.10 11:15:09 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • And you guys think you have serious [email protected]….have a good look at my team(Lions)….if you want to see serious problems!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.03.10 11:15:28 by henniek Reply

    Academy recruit
     
  • @henniek (Comment 16) : If the Sharks don’t act, they might well be heading that direction. :cry:

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.03.10 11:22:19 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • Morning everyone what a loving week-end just great another one bites the dust new week this week new game saturday Go Sharks :sad:

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.03.10 11:31:54 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : I really don’t think the Sharks will go that route….can’t be shitter than the Lions!!! :oops:

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.03.10 11:32:48 by henniek Reply

    Academy recruit
     
  • @henniek (Comment 19) : No we are not lions but Sharks and give sometime we’ll pick up :smile:

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.03.10 11:34:51 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @Morné (Comment 3) : *lots of clapping*

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.03.10 11:38:04 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a FanCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Charmaine (Comment 20) : If you can’t pull this one through on Saturday against the Highlanders…you will be in the same sinking ship as the Lions. Good luck!!! ;-)

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.03.10 11:39:01 by henniek Reply

    Academy recruit
     
  • @henniek (Comment 22) : no went for landers :oops: :cry:

  • Comment 23, posted at 15.03.10 11:49:00 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @Morné (Comment 3) :

    Morne

    Of those 14 Springboks, which of them were first choice in the Bok team??

    Smit
    Bismarck
    Beast
    JPP

    The rest are all squad players!! :roll:

  • Comment 24, posted at 15.03.10 11:51:34 by wpw Reply
    Author
    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • @wpw (Comment 24) :

    I said ex-and current…

    Read again.

    The point being the collective experience of this team.

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.03.10 11:53:31 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • @wpw (Comment 24) : @Morné (Comment 25) : wpw, please read with both eyes, or maybe the weekend was to hectic :twisted:

  • Comment 26, posted at 15.03.10 12:08:14 by Charlie Reply

    CharlieSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Charlie (Comment 26) : LOL :)

  • Comment 27, posted at 15.03.10 12:17:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 25) :

    My point is there are players who might have played for the Boks (like Carstens) who are really not as good as they were (Muller and Odwa also come to mind)

    So to say 14 Boks (whether they are current or not) does not count for much imho.

    I mean the Lions can also say they have a few Boks and yet not ONE of them are good enough to play test rugby imho.

    Rose
    Heinke
    Chavs
    Sephaka
    Mentz

  • Comment 28, posted at 15.03.10 12:21:59 by wpw Reply
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    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • @Charlie (Comment 26) :

    Shut up Grant10, I mean Adi!! :mrgreen: ;-)

  • Comment 29, posted at 15.03.10 12:23:02 by wpw Reply
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  • What more can be said that hasn’t already been said?
    There are no easy answers although i have been vocal for more than a year now about the Sharks’s second-rate backline and how they weren’t likely to trouble any opposition. Unfortunately we lost a lot of good players and are reluctant to bring any youth thru.
    I don’t buy the argument that all of our troubles start in the front row. There are many cases (eg being the Hurricanes) where teams have done well with a relatively light-weight pack. If you’re going to blame anyone, don’t blame a prop, blame the lack of a suitable number 10 for nearly 3 years now.

  • Comment 30, posted at 15.03.10 12:46:03 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • You guys DO NOT want to read Keo’s latest article in The Business Day.

    Having a go at the Sharks!!

    ‘The Sharks continue to frustrate themselves and disappoint their followers, but this is a province and now a Super 14 franchise that has rarely grown talent, but rather bought success, even though the millions spent on out-of-town superstars has yielded only one Currie Cup title in 15 years and not one Super Rugby title.’

    And another one:

    ‘The Sharks, in the days when they were known as the Banana Boys for slipping on a peel every time they challenged for Currie Cup A-section status, never earned promotion to the Currie Cup through performance. It required a competition format expansion to accommodate the Durbanites, and when they finally made it into the big league of South African domestic rugby they proved the leaders in the era of shamateurism; that’s when the game was still amateur but the odd team treated it as professional and paid big money to build a team.’

  • Comment 31, posted at 15.03.10 12:51:59 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 31) : if we don’t want to read it, then why did you post it here? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 15.03.10 12:56:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 28) :

    Rose and Heinke not Boks…

    Again, collective experience.

    Seasoned international players, with international playing experience.

  • Comment 33, posted at 15.03.10 12:56:55 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • @Morné (Comment 33) : Heinke is, technically speaking, a Bok, because he has a test cap. 5 minutes against Wales in 2008. :)

    But your point stands

  • Comment 34, posted at 15.03.10 12:59:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • So Keo decides to write a piece on how well the Bulls and Stormers are doing and just can’t help including this little titbit:

    The Sharks continue to frustrate themselves and disappoint their followers, but this is a province and now a Super 14 franchise that has rarely grown talent, but rather bought success, even though the millions spent on out-of-town superstars has yielded only one Currie Cup title in 15 years and not one Super Rugby title.

    The Sharks, in the days when they were known as the Banana Boys for slipping on a peel every time they challenged for Currie Cup A-section status, never earned promotion to the Currie Cup through performance. It required a competition format expansion to accommodate the Durbanites, and when they finally made it into the big league of South African domestic rugby they proved the leaders in the era of shamateurism; that’s when the game was still amateur but the odd team treated it as professional and paid big money to build a team.

    The Sharks were this team. They created a culture of expensive player imports, with the occasional dud buys. It could explain why the mercenaries of Durban have always teased more than pleased when it comes to winning competitions.

    It is annoying to watch a team with so much resource fail so often. Watching the Sharks is like watching Real Madrid in the European Cup. They have the stars but too many of them have to be taught the local culture instead of being born into it, and in moments of stress there is a trend for these imports to stumble more easily than fight.

    After all, the Sharks are a team for too many and a home for too few.

    Unfortunately, he’s right :cry:

  • Comment 35, posted at 15.03.10 13:07:21 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) :

    Sheez was it that unforgetful that it slipped past me!!! :)

  • Comment 36, posted at 15.03.10 13:15:41 by Morné Reply
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  • Why must we have that article up 3 times? :twisted:

  • Comment 37, posted at 15.03.10 13:19:40 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a FanCurrie Cup player
     
  • Even though the Sharks are out of the running, what benefit would there be to ‘think out of the box’? Come CC, they will pull back into what theyve done the same the past few years. And come S15 in 2011 we will once again have a new international fly halve. I am all for it to give our talent a chance, but then it has to be a CONTINUED effort! The Crusaders have two 20 year olds in Robby Freuan and Guildford. The Saders arent playing the world to embers, but these guys get a prolonged and continued opportunity, which the Sharks fail to do. The same can be said of Vd Heever and Hougaard (out of ‘position’ mind you), james o’connor and others. Name one 21yr old in the Sharks 22?

  • Comment 38, posted at 15.03.10 13:45:59 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
     
  • And keo can use that article over and over again by just substituting the word ‘SHARKS’ with Bulls/Stormers/Lions/Cheetahs! Each one of those teams had a bad patch sometime. And shamateurism was a word thought up by the Bulls and applied by others. The Sharks just perfected it you dork!

  • Comment 39, posted at 15.03.10 13:56:21 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
     
  • Some sensitive Sharks supporters here hey!! Lol
    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 15.03.10 14:01:10 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 40) : pick your battles very carefully today, young Wesley…

  • Comment 41, posted at 15.03.10 14:12:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 40) : Wes at least now you can chirp from a position of strength again :mrgreen: I have given up all hope with my hapless Lions, but at least I am used too it!!

  • Comment 42, posted at 15.03.10 14:18:01 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 42) : at least you have more cups :)

  • Comment 43, posted at 15.03.10 14:31:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • Aai Rob, this is the first time in ages that I’ve kicked you while you’re down. :wink:

  • Comment 44, posted at 15.03.10 14:33:59 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 44) : yes – you’ve had to wait a good few years :)

  • Comment 45, posted at 15.03.10 14:40:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 45) : They’ve won nothing yet.
    Last time I checked it was a Currie Cup back in 2001.

  • Comment 46, posted at 15.03.10 14:52:23 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @CapeShark (Comment 46) : ah yes – also true. But their current form and log position gives them more bragging rights than we do right now, don’t ya think? :)

  • Comment 47, posted at 15.03.10 14:56:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : I’ll reserve comment until they win their first semi-final.. ;-)

  • Comment 48, posted at 15.03.10 15:05:35 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @CapeShark (Comment 48) : ha ha – yes, fair enough. The wise fan waits until the cup is in the cabinet before starting trash talk.

    Then again, Wes knows only too well that he’d better take his opportunity while he can :)

  • Comment 49, posted at 15.03.10 15:12:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • :???: :?:

  • Comment 50, posted at 15.03.10 15:37:58 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 50) : Enjoy it while you can…..i have a funny feeling it’s all about to go pear shape once you leave the sandpit :lol:

  • Comment 51, posted at 15.03.10 15:46:17 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 51) : :lol:

  • Comment 52, posted at 15.03.10 15:48:33 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 51) : they’ve got a nasty tour coming up. Reds are a hell of a side these days, while Blues and Chiefs will both be hard to beat at home.

    Force is the only gimme…

  • Comment 53, posted at 15.03.10 15:49:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 44) :

    Kicked us while we’re down????????????

    I though you was a Sharks supporter my bra!

  • Comment 54, posted at 15.03.10 15:49:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 54) : don’t worry KSA SHARK we will get lifted again :smile: ;-)

  • Comment 55, posted at 15.03.10 15:51:37 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 53) : Rob sorry it won’t work with my pic what can i do now e-mail it to you :?:

  • Comment 56, posted at 15.03.10 15:52:42 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @henniek (Comment 22) : But its true butnot as low as the lions i still think we will pick up :sad: ;-)

  • Comment 57, posted at 15.03.10 15:54:04 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @Charmaine (Comment 56) : it’s already there… picture of a pirate?

  • Comment 58, posted at 15.03.10 16:01:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 58) : Yes but i’m still sitting on my tits and they are getting a bit sore right now aahhhh :mrgreen:

  • Comment 59, posted at 15.03.10 16:03:05 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 51) :

    What was that?? 33-0?? :twisted: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 60, posted at 15.03.10 16:03:08 by wpw Reply
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    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • @Charmaine (Comment 59) : and i’ve update my profile but it won’t show evertime i comment :???:

  • Comment 61, posted at 15.03.10 16:04:20 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 54) : :lol: :razz:

  • Comment 62, posted at 15.03.10 16:04:38 by wpw Reply
    Author
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  • gee what is wrong with me comment to myself aahh Rob that one was for you comment no 61 :sad:

  • Comment 63, posted at 15.03.10 16:09:10 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @Charmaine (Comment 63) : Press Ctrl F5

  • Comment 64, posted at 15.03.10 16:10:47 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 64) : and you’ll see the pirates we see.

  • Comment 65, posted at 15.03.10 16:11:21 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 64) : Thanks Pokkel that feels much better :lol: ;-)

  • Comment 66, posted at 15.03.10 16:15:29 by Charmaine Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • The players have to play without an effective plan. They clearly have no idea about a team mate’s next move and have no idea what to do themselves.
    Its evident in their indecision during phase play.
    Its evident in their ineffectual backline moves.
    Its evident when a player pick-and-drive in complete isolation.
    Its evident when a player kicks and nobody is chasing.

    Confused players become frustrated and frustrated players become ill disciplined.

    The coach’s record looks like this:
    WWWWLWWWLLWLL, LLLLL
    If he was able to solve this problem he would have done so already.

  • Comment 67, posted at 16.03.10 03:43:45 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 67) : Plum keeps saying there isn’t a rift at the Sharks, so that leaves only one option, HE’S A USELESS COACH :!:

  • Comment 68, posted at 16.03.10 08:37:18 by FireTheLooser Reply

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