How’s that for a rhyming Keo-style headline? Ok, so I digress, but what was with the Sharks’ substitutions against the Bulls this weekend?
Plum has been quick to heap criticism on the players – and most of that is deserved – but I feel the coaching staff need to take one on the chin as well, for the way they were completely out-thought by the Bulls when it came to deploying of subs, particularly in the forwards. While I don’t think that Rory Kockott and Andre Pretorius added anything when they came on, it’s more that fact that we ended the game with both Anton Bresler and Mike Rhodes essentially unused that concerns me. This is a game when we were clearly coming off second best in the forward exchanges after half time, just about the time that the Bulls brought on their five forward replacements.
In hindsight, bringing Craig Burden on at flank was a mistake, but I can forgive the coach that one, since it really did seem a good idea at the time. Mike Rhodes doesn’t have the pace to match Keegan Daniel and we would’ve ended up with a pretty slow trio had he come on for Daniel. That said, once it became apparent that Burden wasn’t shaping at flank, he should perhaps have been moved to hooker once more fresh legs were needed. Either that or replaced outright. Rhodes spent only 5 minutes in total on the field, which seems a huge waste given how much we’ve seen him contribute in the past.
Bresler is the same. In his case, I find myself wondering why Plumtree picked him on the bench in the first place if he wasn’t going to use him. The Sharks tight five was visibly tired in the second half and the whole reason for having substitutes is to bring them on when some fresh impetus is needed. Bresler should have replaced either Hargreaves or Sykes after an hour in an attempt to try and turn things back to our favour.
This harkens back to the dark days in the early stages of Plumtree’s tenure when his starting 15 would regularly finish the match because he seemingly didn’t trust the bench. It’s a 22-man game these days and trying to play 80 minutes without using all the resources available to you just seems silly.Tweet