robdylan

Sharks must not let Pink go to their heads


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 16 Sep 2010 at 10:16
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This is such an obvious thing to point out that perhaps it’s not worthy of an article in its own right, but here goes anyway. While the CANSA fund-raising initiative is a great one – and one we as Sharks fans MUST all endorse wholeheartedly by giving generously and wearing pink to the game – it is critical that the Sharks team and management try to put the spectacle out of their minds as far as they possibly can, lest it become a distraction to winning this weekend’s crucial Currie Cup fixture against the Cheetahs.

While it’s weird to think that the Sharks may be up against it this weekend, given that they’re 8 points clear at the top of the log and have only lost 2 games in total, the reality is that the Cheetahs are the team coming into this game with form on their side. Plumtree has it spot on when he points out that the Sharks have played 80 minutes of good rugby in total over the last two week, although I think he’s possibly being a little generous to his team, who were only really good for 20 minutes against the Pumas – and decidedly average thereafter. The Sharks have based their run of good form this season on unstoppable, perpetual motion from the best forward pack in the competition and the resulting slew of good, quick ball has been put to good use by quick-thinking halfbacks Charl McLeod and Pat Lambie. Hardly surprising, then, that both McLeod and Lambie have seen their personal form tail off in step with an inexplicable waning of the pack performance in the last two games.

Fact is, on their last two games – and given that they’ve lost two key Springboks in Beast Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis – the Sharks pack looks like they will have an uphill battle handling the Cheetahs on Saturday, particularly given the vague interpretations of breakdown law that are referee Pro Legote’s forte. Playing into their hands to some degree may just be the fact that the Cheetahs are coming off an incredibly hard match against the Bulls and might still be a little tender. The Sharks, in contrast, were fortunate to report a clean bill of health after their Witbank adventure. What’s more they’ve had an extra day to recover. The Cheetahs seem determined to turn this affair into a grudge match of some sort and again, that is another sideshow in which the Sharks simply cannot afford to get involved. Lionel Mapoe may well be at the stadium, but he’ll be watching from the stands just like any other spectator (I hope he’ll be in pink!) and should not come into the Sharks’ thinking any more than any other spectator would.

If the Cheetahs want to make this personal, that’s fine. The Sharks must concentrate on playing rugby.

For the Durbanites, the equation really is very simple. They’ll need to go back to the basics of what has worked for them all Currie Cup season long. The forwards need to secure the ball – the backs need to run with it. Rinse and repeat until over the tryline. Then start again. Keeping possession is key and taking points when they’re on offer is the way to keep pressure on the opposition. Accuracy and patience on attack – something that has suddenly gone missing over the last two weeks – needs to be rediscovered (and fast) because the Cheetahs aren’t going to present a huge number of scoring chances like the Pumas would. If they can do these things, just like they have before, the Sharks will win. Allow the concentration to slip, though and it’s the Cheetahs who’ll be taking the points and the Sharks left looking at a tricky fixture in Johannesburg that could spell the end of their reign at the top of the log.

Let’s hope those pink jerseys don’t go their heads…



28 Comments

  • Spot on, let the Cheetahs be distracted

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.09.10 10:22:29 by war1 Reply
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  • Go Sharks!! Black & Pink. It really matters!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.09.10 10:25:25 by Jarson Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 1) : Maybe Mapoe should wear a Black & Pink Jersey aswell but in the crowd :twisted:

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.09.10 10:27:16 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 3) : Get him to run across the field in it :smile:

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.09.10 10:32:47 by war1 Reply
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  • yes remember how the force were thrashed by the sharks when they wore their pink jerseys last year.

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.09.10 10:49:06 by try time Reply

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  • @try time (Comment 5) : I remember all too well and it’s also been in the back of my mind. Luckily the Sharks jersey’s aren’t as pink as the Force jersey’s were.

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.09.10 10:54:56 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 5) : Stade Francais seems to be doing ok with their pink kit :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.09.10 10:56:33 by Jarson Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 5) : ja, but the Sharks generally haven’t struggled to beat the Force in whatever colour jersey they wear.

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.09.10 10:58:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • WRT the ref, the gameplan here is very simple : play so hard and well and get a huge lead, so that when and if there might be contoversial decisions, it does not influence the outcome!! :wink:

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.09.10 10:58:31 by Pink Ice Reply
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  • It’s going to be tough and it’s high time we start to look forward to playing the Cheetahs. I believe that players such as Ashley Johnson, Connie Oothuizen, Meyer Bosman (he’s having a great CC), Jongi Nokwe are instrumental to the Cheetah’s game plan. The great thing is that these players are confidence players (except MB) which means they need to be put in their place early in the game, if we allow them to run wild, it’s going to be a long day in the office. Plum needs to be bold and play Andre Pretorius at 10 and Lambie at 12, Mostert needs to be in the mix.

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.09.10 11:06:20 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 10) : I had a nightmare last night about Petoors starting this weekend, please no, he has not shown any form this season so far. I would go for Lambie at 10 and Swannie at 12

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.09.10 11:09:46 by war1 Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : and the cheetahs haven’t struggled to beat the sharks in the last few years. hence my concern.

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.09.10 11:16:23 by try time Reply

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  • hi all,

    geez, i dont now why, but i`ve got a bad feeling about this game. i think its all the games against the cheetahs that, on paper, we should have won easily. NOW, the cheetahs team looks settled with a few good players in there… i`m just worried… and the fact that Man Utd could not buy a win against Rangers could make this a pretty horrible sporting week… COME ON U SHARKIES!!!

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.09.10 11:18:05 by VanWilder Reply

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  • @war1 (Comment 11) : He hasn’t shown any form this season? When was he supposed to show form, he’s played about 15 minutes of rugby all year :roll:

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.09.10 11:28:35 by Greg Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 14) : exactly, which is why we should not expect him to start at 10 and beat the cheetahs

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.09.10 11:55:47 by war1 Reply
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  • Make no mistake guys, a fit injury free Pretorius (that’s the only concern) is an effective flyhalf. Played well for the Force during the warm up games last year, has even shown a few glimpses when he has come on for the Sharks. With all due respect, I don’t believe that Strauss and Swannie will trouble Meyer Bosman. Anyway, we need a reliable goal kicker in team.

  • Comment 16, posted at 16.09.10 12:04:41 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 16) : i think because of his lack of match fitness, petoors should not start on saturday

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.09.10 12:07:53 by war1 Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 16) : with the reliable goalkicker part I agree 100%!

  • Comment 18, posted at 16.09.10 12:08:46 by Pink Ice Reply
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  • Personally, I would start AP, because of the potential he has, and if it doesn’t work, bring him off, if it does, leave him on.

  • Comment 19, posted at 16.09.10 12:18:26 by Greg Reply

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  • Plum taking his time as usual to announce the Sharks team :evil:

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.09.10 13:47:33 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 20) : what a surprise… I think we’re waiting on Keegan Daniel

  • Comment 21, posted at 16.09.10 13:59:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : I thought Keegan was ready to go?

  • Comment 22, posted at 16.09.10 14:12:44 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 22) : I hear he’s still tender… smoke n mirrors, always the same

  • Comment 23, posted at 16.09.10 14:29:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : team is out, keegs starts

  • Comment 24, posted at 16.09.10 14:45:06 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 24) : but keegs still has a fitness test tomorrow

  • Comment 25, posted at 16.09.10 14:45:57 by war1 Reply
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  • I must admit that I’m also worried that we might lose focus on Saturday. I applaud the Sharks in their effords with this initiative, but hope Plum keeps the guys focussed on the task at hand. The Cheetahs are the one side we (The Sharks) can not afford to lose focus against.

  • Comment 26, posted at 16.09.10 14:51:21 by Farlington Reply

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  • @war1 (Comment 24) : keegs in place of botes… all running loosies. no out and out fetchers. this makes sykes and hargreaves work at ruck time so much more important.

  • Comment 27, posted at 16.09.10 14:59:56 by VanWilder Reply

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  • @war1 (Comment 4) : he could come on as a waterboy :twisted:

  • Comment 28, posted at 16.09.10 19:45:52 by pinkfish Reply
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