robdylan

Forward obsession


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 4 May 2010 at 07:55
Tagged with : , , , ,

Did anyone else notice that the Sharks, suddenly two scores behind against the Bulls and needing to throw caution to the wind, opted to bring on a clutch of forward replacements?

Surely in such a situation, when an all-out attack strategy becomes necessary on a do-or-die effort to seize an unlikely win, one should balance the need to protect possesion up front with the introduction of some unpredictable players in the midfield and back three? For the Shatks under John Plumtree, this simply isn’t an option, since his gamebreakers are all forwards – every last one of them.

Now don’t get me wrong here. I can fully appreciate the impact that a looser, more skillful player can have when introduced into the pack late in the game and the Sharks squad is very fortunate, almost uniquely so, to be blessed with many players who fit this particular bill. The unfortunate reality, though, is that you really can’t just throw your Burdens, Daniels and Kankowskis on en masse in the last 20 and expect them to win the game for you. A more expansive approach to the game can only be built on a continued supply of good possession, coupled with the right sort of player in the backline. When you replace half your pack with ‘sevens players’, yet leave the same bunch of crashballers at the back, the only result will be less possession and ultimately a bigger hiding.

The Sharks need to have a proper look at this one. Priority number one is obviously to find some inside backs who can do anything other than run headlong onto contact, not to mention outside backs who know how to finish. Looking at the bench options is also vitally important and just maybe, a little bit of out-of-box thinking might pay dividends here. If you have forwards who are skillful enough to play amongst the backs… why not consider using them there?



35 Comments

  • Ahhh…you are talking about moving Kanko to the centres? Read this on another thread.
    Or are you considering moving Burden back to the centres/wings?

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.05.10 08:55:46 by Butchie Reply
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  • @Butchie (Comment 1) : Compare Kanko to Swannie. Kanko is quicker of the mark, faster, has a better hand off and most importantly he runs into gaps instead of into defenders. Not so far fetched. ;-)

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.05.10 09:03:57 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) : This is actually groing on me……….

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.05.10 09:12:01 by SharksRTB Reply

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  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) : Does Kanko really have the “ball sense” and vision to play centre? Maybe I’m old school but when I played rugga, centres were the players with the best hands in the team, which unfortunately is something that neither Kanko nor the incumbent centres have.
    To be frank, maybe its me, but vision at the moment is totally lacking in the backline. Feels like I’m watching a bunch of Braam van Straaten’s in the backline at mo.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.05.10 09:14:21 by Butchie Reply

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  • But still, why not have zuks and murray at centre(s) :?: :?: I believe we have the talent, they are just managed incorrectly.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.05.10 09:14:47 by SharksRTB Reply

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  • I will say it again.

    Plumtree is a forwards coach and an excellent one at that – but that is where it stops.

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.05.10 09:21:29 by Morné Reply
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  • @SharksRTB (Comment 5) : Who would play inside centre though? Both of these guys would be classed as outside centres in my book.

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.05.10 09:33:36 by Butchie Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 6) : agreed, and I dont rate the backline coach much on the evidence of what they have produced this season, however maybe its the gameplan that needs looking at, maybe Swanepoel is under direct instuctions to bash the ball up and Plumtree has not thought much further than that??

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.05.10 09:40:02 by Whindy Reply
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  • We have to give it a shot if I have to say, play murray at 12 and zuks at 13. If it doesn’t come of, so be it, but anything to try and solve the midfield bugger up!

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.05.10 09:46:30 by SharksRTB Reply

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  • @SharksRTB (Comment 4) : Zuks must have some of the worst hands I’ve seen….has he improved his ball skills lately??

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.05.10 09:47:07 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 7) : We have a backline coach?!
    Sure fooled me . . .

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.05.10 09:48:43 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 10) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.05.10 09:49:23 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 10)
    I think we have 3, maybe thats the problem.

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.05.10 09:55:59 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 5) : That is probably the root of the problem

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.05.10 09:57:07 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Stormers team for the weekend :

    Joe Peterson, Naqalivuki, Best 13 in the World, De Jongh, Aplon, Grant, Duvenhage, Duane, Flo, Bekker, Van Zyl, Incredible Schalk, Harris, Liebenberg, Moller.

    Could be a long afternoon for our boys again . . . especially if the Stormers hit the kinda form they had against the Blues and the Crusers.

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.05.10 10:04:33 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • No habana? There’s hope :)

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.05.10 10:12:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • On the inside centre thing, swannie needs to lose some weight, not saying he is fat but he has WAY too much muscle, he was totally outplayed at Loftus.

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.05.10 10:15:47 by war1 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Habana`s got some rib problem.
    Sadly I don`t think there`s much hope. If Joe comes back in the same sorta form he had before his injury he might just edge Crusty out of the Bok team in this last two weeks . . .

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.05.10 10:23:16 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Original Pierre (Comment 17) : there is never no hope, but on form the stormers should take it

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.05.10 10:27:58 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 16) : Interesting observation, have you noticed how well the smaller guys like Gio Aplon and that Kiwi fullback for the chiefs are doing, maybe this infatuation with bulk will come to an end and the natural more balanced players will come to the fore, because as somebody mentioned Francois Steyn was a much better player before he had to take the obligatory muscle mass soup that they drink now!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.05.10 11:02:23 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 19) : read that steyn lost something like 9kgs in france so that he could become a more agile player again. We have what I might “bash up centre disease” in SA, I hope it doesn’t kill Swannie’s career

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.05.10 11:07:40 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 20) : according to the SuperSport stats (which are, admittedly, usually a bit flaky) Swannie now weighs in at 103kg. That’s MUCH too heavy for his height, IMO. He’s put on something like 15 kilos in the last two years.

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.05.10 11:15:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : He looked slow and predictable against the Bulls, and they read him like a book and tackled him backwards every time, like I said he NEEDS to lose that extra weight

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.05.10 11:25:20 by war1 Reply
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  • Good day Rob

    i was in the press conference at loftus saturday , where plum explained the situation etc

    just like the article up in Keo that plum has said bad stuff re streauli and goode

    It is false , he said no sauch stuff

    Alberts was nearly withdrawn just before the game , this is why kanko suddenly came into the team as well as why the bench becamse a 5-2 split

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.05.10 13:16:22 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • If my memory serves me right….back in 2006 there were 2 young upcoming u21 centres for the sharks in Barrit & Burden. Barrit in the end was our no1 inside centre with Strauss the backup…and Burden made his super 14 debut on the wing for the sharks. During the season Burden moved back to the centre spot in the Vodacom Cup & it was only until recently that Plum opted to convert him into a hooker. Could it be because at that stage we didn’t have any depth at hooker with Smit & Bissie already there or did Plum really see a no2 in the making? Burden at the moment is a great hooker with power, pace & all round play but I sometimes feel he provides more when he’s in the backline breaking tackles & running through/over/under the defenders. Any thoughts on the prospect of maybe moving him back to either inside or outside centre?

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.05.10 13:16:52 by voltage Reply

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  • if you go onto rugby talk you will see a lock thread up now where gbs( rudi ) has also told of the rubbish being printed about plum

    he was with me at the press conference

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.05.10 13:22:51 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @voltage (Comment 25) : It was Dick Muir who decided to convert Burden.

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.05.10 13:38:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 26) : so can you fill us in on exactly what he did say?

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.05.10 13:43:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : Ohh…thought it was Plum :oops:

  • Comment 29, posted at 04.05.10 13:46:01 by voltage Reply

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  • @voltage (Comment 29) : Plum lacks the originality to do that sort of thing… in hindsight, though, it might hae worked better for Burden had Dick not had the brainwave.

    I see two options for Burden…
    1) stay in Durban and move back to centre
    or
    2) go to Joburg and let Dick finish what he started

  • Comment 30, posted at 04.05.10 14:01:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : Sheez Rob, don’t wish another player away :roll:

  • Comment 31, posted at 04.05.10 15:35:46 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : yes i can rob

  • Comment 32, posted at 04.05.10 15:44:39 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • contact me on my messenger

    yahoo that is sharks_lover is the id

  • Comment 33, posted at 04.05.10 15:45:13 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 33) : eish boss… not anywhere that I can access yahoo messenger.

    Will try catch you tomorrow morning.

  • Comment 34, posted at 04.05.10 15:56:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • Great article!!! I thought the exact same thing on Saterday. I told my dad – you don’t take the big boys Deysel and Alberts off and replace them with less physical players like Daniel and Burden when you first and formost need to maintain the ball to win. I struggled to see the sense in that myself.

  • Comment 35, posted at 05.05.10 09:42:38 by MB1810 Reply

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