Sharks bumble and fumble their way to Loftus loss

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 5 Sep 2010 at 12:54
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

I hate to say “I told you so”, but I’m afraid the way that the Sharks shot themselves in the foot against the Blue Bulls at Loftus yesterday bore all the hallmarks of a team that simply isn’t capable of going into a big match as favourites and delivering a performance worthy of that tag. Credit must got to the home side, though, for delivering a rousing display in the second stanza to give their long-suffering fans something to crow about at last.

There was, in hindsight, little between the two sides on paper. Form, however, should have given this one to the Durban team and quite comfortably so. The Sharks, despite a shaky opening period, managed to assert themselves on the game with Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira and Willem Alberts in particular making mincemeat of a clearly inferior Bulls pack. The execution, however, wasn’t as slick as it needed to be for the Sharks and the backs failed to capitalise on the strong work up front. Far too many flat passes were ruled forward, or scoring passes grounded, with the result that despite bossing the set pieces and the break down for nearly 40 minutes, the Sharks were only 11 points up at half time. More importantly, they had only managed two tries and had lost talismanic ball carriers Keegan Daniel and Alberts to injury.

Anybody who has watched a Sharks-Bulls game at Loftus would know what was about to happen next. The Bulls came out snorting in the second half and the Sharks played right into their hands by abandoning the ball-in-hand approach that had helped to turn their season around. Possession – hard enough to win as it was against a resurgent Bulls pack bolstered by the arrival of fresh legs in the likes of Jaco Engels – was booted away willy-nilly and the Bulls were good value for money in whittling away at the Sharks’ slender lead. by the time Jacques-Louis Potgieter had brought them within 6 points, two quick-fire tries by Ruan Snyman and Engels suddenly handed the Bulls the lead, one which was further extended when a promising Sharks movement was snuffed out courtesy of a Wynand Olivier intercept. The blonde centre went over to secure the bonus point for the hosts and even though the Sharks spent the rest of the game attacking, a solitary score by Alistair Hargreaves was all they could muster.

The final score of 40-34 was a pretty good reflection of events – however, the Sharks will rue the chances that were missed in the first half, one where they could realistically have taken a 25-point lead, so dominant were they. In the final analysis, it’s quite possible that the Bulls simply had far too much resting on this game – far more than the Sharks did anyway – for them to lose it, given that a loss here would have gone a long way towards ruling the Pretoria side out of semi-final contention. The Sharks, despite the loss, actually moved one point further ahead of Province on the log, but with some tough games coming up and facing the prospect of losing key front-row resources to national training camps, that 11 or 12-point buffer certainly would have been sweet.

All-in-all, a day the Sharks would rather forget. Let’s hope that John Plumtree and his team can put in the necessary work to correct the problems in time to prevent yet another promising campaign from unravelling at the midway point.


  • Most bloggers predicted a win but I’m glad the Bulls won if only to bring you guys down to earth.
    One would swear you already won the damn title. :roll:

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.09.10 13:04:57 by wpw Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • @wpw (Comment 1) :
    Thats fair comment actually. Thought the guys were a bit over-the-top after WP lost.

    All in all, I don’t think the fault lies with Plum; the players executed poorly.

    Lambie seemed to just go through the motions; never took the ball to the line, but just shifted the ball laterally everytime. None of the backs except Movov looked penetrative, and Monty was especially bad at kicking away good ball.

    Mcleod’s hands let him down (along with a host of others) but he still was shown to be a much better option once Rory stepped onto the park and played his usual game. His 1-step passing was especially aggravating as it stifled all momentum on the ball. I can forgive the intercepted pass much more than that.

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.09.10 14:00:55 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • This was almost a carbon copy of the Griquas game, even the scoreline was identical, and I disagree with you, the Sharks were the better team on paper, we dominated most of the game but made too many silly mistakes

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.09.10 14:36:15 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player
  • I wont lie i was pretty confident we’d win especially after the bulls lost 2 da pumas. The first half was ours we should hav put them away!

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.09.10 14:44:38 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
  • Rob, what injury did Alberts pick up? How bad is it? We can’t afford to lose him to injury.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.09.10 15:34:37 by Puma Reply

    PumaCurrie Cup player
  • Long suffering Bulls fans. :mrgreen:

    That’s the funniest line in a long time here.

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.09.10 16:04:34 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    fyndraaiTeam captain
  • I agree fyndraai. :lol:

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.09.10 16:35:03 by wpw Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • @Puma (Comment 5) : Alberts went off for blood, as far as I know he finished the game. Keegs look like he did his ankle badly though :sad:

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.09.10 16:40:34 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player
  • @war1 (Comment 8) : Thanks for that info war1. Not great news that. Do we have Kanko back this weekend?

    Think we lose Bismarck to the Boks training camp. All Boks with contracts after this weekend probably wont play CC.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.09.10 17:05:09 by Puma Reply

    PumaCurrie Cup player
  • @Puma (Comment 9) : beast, bismarck, smittie and jp and adi will join the training camp, so we will get kanko back. but, if we don’t get any mental strength back, we will lose to the pumas next weekend too!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.09.10 17:09:11 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player
  • @war1 (Comment 10) : See we lose Bismarck, Beast and JP. That is a big loss. JS too but he needs a rest bad now. Adi not such a big loss not sure when he last played.

    Is there ANY news on Mapoe yet? Feel for the player just left on the side like that.

    Can’t see us losing to the Pumas mate. I know Bulls did, but really we pick up on our errors this weekend we should beat em. Maybe we struggle with the altitude. My feeling. The reason we need to end up on the log that we can hold a home semi at sea level.

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.09.10 17:15:27 by Puma Reply

    PumaCurrie Cup player
  • I knew from the moment I dissed WP for their loss that I had just jinxed us.

    The game was there for the taking, but small errors cost us. Just about every time that we got front-foot momentum after a number of quick phase balls, with the Bulls heavily on the back foot, there was a knock at he base of a ruck or the first receiver knocked it. This seemed to happen just about every time that it looked like our next play would lead to a try.

    We also felt Keegan´s absence in attack and on defense around the fringes.

    This loss isn´t a train smash and will probably be good for us. We simply need to be more patient.

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.09.10 17:46:38 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
  • @Puma (Comment 11) : if we don’t get focused we will lose to the pumas

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.09.10 18:10:57 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player
  • After waiting excitedly all week for this game I ended up furious with frustration. As has been mentioned the small errors such as knock-ons and forward passes at critical times I think lost the Sharks the game and certainly any momentum they had built up. But on reflection it is not a major problem; just a wake-up call. We are still log leaders with some to spare and should still finish with a home semi in the remaining matches if the team this week gets to grips with these basic errors and refocuses on their game plan. They have played exemplary rugby up to last Saturday.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.09.10 18:20:10 by Donald Reply

    DonaldUnder 21 player
  • Watched the game with my boet (a Province supporter). 13 minutes into the 2nd half, i said that the Sharks are playing shit and are slipping this one. He looked at me in disbelief and said that the Sharks should hope i dont become their coach!! a few minutes later i just cupped my ear and looked at him. He just couldnt believe it.
    The players became over eager when they came into the 22 of the bulls, knocking the ball or becoming isolated and lost possession. I also found it absolutely strange that they started doing silly chip kicks and giving away possession with up and unders that barely worked. We suffered more under the high ball. Line outs were also very scrappy. And then Rory once again proved to my Boet that not only geckos can run up walls. :cry:

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.09.10 18:21:40 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
  • The issue is not just the home semi spot! We should dominate in games against a team like the bulls! Yes, we have beaten them in the first round and elmost every other team. All my mates compliments my team and says i must be pleased with the Sharks log position. To which i reply that log position doesnt please me. The Currie Cup in Kings Park trophy cabinet is what pleases me!

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.09.10 18:27:03 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
  • Rugby is a farce. It’s heavilly controlled to keep fans interested. Who would watch the rugga if teams like the Bulls, Cheetahs, WP or in this game, Sharks, never lost a game and dominated the log. Interest will vanish quicker than an eleven point lead.

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.09.10 07:05:12 by Jarson Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
    JarsonXAssistant coach
  • @Jarson (Comment 17) : do you have proof?

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.09.10 08:23:11 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player
  • @Jarson (Comment 17) : So you reckon the Boks losing will peak people’s interest more than them winning all the time? :shock:

  • Comment 19, posted at 06.09.10 09:29:16 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
  • On the positive side: what a try by Mvovo :!: :!: :!:

  • Comment 20, posted at 06.09.10 10:36:23 by SharksRTB Reply

    SharksRTBCurrie Cup player
  • @SharksRTB (Comment 20) : awesome, wasn’t it?

  • Comment 21, posted at 06.09.10 11:04:59 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @SharksRTB (Comment 20) : that was a magnificent try

  • Comment 22, posted at 06.09.10 11:17:21 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player

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