robdylan

Sharks first


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 4 Oct 2010 at 09:48
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I feel that, with all the inevitable speculation about semifinal permutations and the Sharks’ potential semi-final opponents, the Sharks really do need to close their ears to all the talk and concentrate on what’s best for the team.

Fact is, the Sharks have done utterly superbly to sew up top spot on the log with only a week to play. John Plumtree has used his resources wisely and despite not always having the best squad on paper, has played a style of rugby that has seen his team maintain pole position throughout the second round of matches. More importantly, the number of try bonus points scored has ensured that even though the Sharks have lost more matches in this campaign than they have in any of the previous years they’ve topped the log (this is the third year in a row), they will end it with a bigger buffer than before. Simply remarkable.

The plan was always going to be “careful player management” in the final week, if the Sharks were to be in this position. The prospect of a semi-final against the Bulls, likely to finish fourth of Western Province do beat the Sharks this weekend, may have tempted Plumtree to reconsider and play his strongest side at Newlands, but my feeling is that he must make whatever decision is best in the interests of the Sharks. Right now, a number of senior players have carried a very heavy work load and if we are not to risk them breaking down during the knock out phases, they simply have to be given a break this weekend. The Sharks, I feel, have more than enough depth and talent in their squad to name a side for this weekend’s game that can beat Province, even without battle-weary stalwarts of the likes of Keegan Daniel, Willem Alberts and Steven Sykes. Ultimately, though, this weekend’s game means little for the Sharks – that is their luxury and that is their prize.

The Sharks have finished first and are the best team in the country right now – they also have a slew of top players coming back from the Boks and really don’t need to fear anyone, least of all the Bulls who haven’t played truly impressive rugby at any stage of their campaign. Plumtree must manage the players as he sees fit and take the most appropriate team to Cape Town, to have a full go at beating Western Province, but know that win or lose, his team will have the last laugh. Let’s leave the semi-final concerns for the week afterwards and back a strengthened and rested Sharks team to emerge victorious in Durban on 16 October, regardless of which shade of blue the opposition happens to be wearing.



40 Comments

  • If a coach starts looking at permutations, he is heading for a hiding.

    Plum’s job is a very simple one here, player management.

    I believe this is best done looking at combinations and bringing in who you believe (Boks that sat out till now) is needed in the play-off’s but also not to change whole combinations in the process because you lose momentum.

    So, move Burden to the bench, bring Bismarck in.

    Beast on the bench, give him 30 against WP and keep Van Staden at 1.

    Bring Adi in at 13, and bring JPP in on the bench replacing Odwa after 50 min.

    Simple.

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.10.10 09:59:21 by Morné Reply
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  • We will always voice our opinions and concerns, our advice and our critisism. It’s what we do, we are fans but mostly we are Sharks fans. Black & White, Nothing Else Matters!

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.10.10 10:00:47 by Jarson Reply
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  • Oh and rest Keegan, Ryan back at 8, Alberts at 7 and Botes at 6.

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.10.10 10:00:52 by Morné Reply
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  • Plummo just play the best team availeable… ;-)

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.10.10 10:21:58 by Charlie Reply

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  • What Rob and Morne said :grin:

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.10.10 10:26:04 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : What’s you opinion on Andre Pretorius?

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.10.10 10:31:03 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) :

    Always liked him, but have not seen him since his return (or for the last 2 years) so have no idea what his form is currently – missed the Sharks game on Friday.

    I believe he adds value.

    But perhaps he should consider a Carlos role/mentorship at the Sharks?

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.10.10 10:32:43 by Morné Reply
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  • What Rob, Morne and Vanmartin said :grin: :grin:

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.10.10 10:33:05 by Letgo Reply
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  • Except, Morne, don’t you think Plum should rest Alberts. Rhodes will be a good stand in for the WP game.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.10.10 10:34:58 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 9) : i agree, he brings momentum to our game. we cant afford to loose him for the semi and MAYBE final… would be a great chance for rhodes to show his class in a big game against the wp. i would play pretorius at flyhalf and lambie at 12. 2 good kickers, and can rotate at flyhalf in open play.

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.10.10 10:40:48 by VanWilder Reply

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  • Rhodes seems to have the goods… ;-)

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.10.10 10:42:58 by Charlie Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 9) :

    Rest two out of three in the combo???

    Will start with Alberts, even if only for 40 minutes.

    Let Rhodes settle and consume the atmosphere which will be, close to a sell out at Newlands this weekend.

    Sykes however might need some time off, when is Skeate back? Where is Allister?

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.10.10 10:42:58 by Morné Reply
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  • It will not be a walk in the park. No matter the depth. To be honest, the Sharks have often got to the top of the log, only to burn with less vigor at the business end. I sincerely hope that we get that right this time round.

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.10.10 10:48:27 by rugbypedia Reply

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  • As for Pretorius, he didn’t surprise me at all. He gave a first rate performance against a second or third rate team. The problem is I’m not confident that he will produce the same in pressure moments.

    As soon as he starts playing with to much confidence he starts making bad errors. He’s one of those players, think he can do more than he’s capable of and starts making bas decisions. I’m hoping that experience would have taken care of that problem, but I just don’t know. I’d feel much more comfortable if he’s just left on the bench.

    As far as the WP game go though, I wouldn’t mind giving him another go.

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.10.10 10:54:21 by Letgo Reply
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  • I miss Waylon Murray :(

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.10.10 10:57:19 by Mocho Reply

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  • @VanWilder (Comment 10) : This is a good game to try that out. We can’t lose anything. Even if we lose. :mrgreen:

    If it turns out to be a great combo, great!! If not, we’ll just go back to what’s been working this whole season.

    It’s a great position to be in. If plum just looks at what’s best for the team, like Rob said, then we can’t go wrong here.

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.10.10 10:58:12 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 12) : But don’t you think risking Alberts at this stage would be a big mistake. The guy already took a knock in the Leopards game, a game that he should not even have gotten close to, now we don’t even know what the extent of his injury is. I don’t even know that I would risk him on the bench. I know it seems extreme, but he’s body can only take so much and I think he’s just about at his limit. He takes more hammering than any other CC player. The guy deserves a break.

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.10.10 11:01:31 by Letgo Reply
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  • Alberts is quite unlikely to be available this weekend

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.10.10 11:06:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : and how is he looking for the semi’s?

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.10.10 11:08:02 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Mocho (Comment 15) : No dude, you’ll see it’s better this way. Waylon fits in nicely with the Lions, but it just didn’t work here at the Sharks anymore. We’ll find someone better to fill the gap we have at 13. Adi will be back soon and believe me there’s some crazy talent coming through the ranks. Soon you will have forgotten about Waylon completely.

    But I get it, he’s showing some of his best form again, and it would have been nice if we could have had him with us right now.

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.10.10 11:08:11 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) : My question exactly. Scary thought to lose him now. Plum should never have risked him. Hope this has made him realise how lucky he is to have the option of resting players this week.

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.10.10 11:09:28 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 21) : Some comments by Plum after the game.

    http://www.sharksrugby.co.za/news/general/101004/Attitude_Just_Right

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.10.10 11:12:29 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Thanks, Pokkel, it’s a lot easier to make good comments when you’re fully informed.

    I’m glad to see Alberts seems to be okay. It’s also good too see that Plum will rest a few players that dearly needs it right now.

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.10.10 11:18:37 by Letgo Reply
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  • Seeing as we do not have much to lose, why not try the AP @ 10 to see if your opinion on him in big games rings true? (Letgo)

    I would not mind trying out AP @ 10 and Lambie @ 12 this weekend..

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.10.10 11:19:07 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 24) : OOPS, see Vanwilder already touched on that!

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.10.10 11:22:17 by Ice Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 17) :

    niggles change everything, what I am suggesting is on the basis everyone is fit.

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.10.10 11:23:19 by Morné Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 24) : hey, thats my idea!! ;-) who u gonna play at 13 then? adi?

  • Comment 27, posted at 04.10.10 11:23:58 by VanWilder Reply

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  • @Ice (Comment 25) : great minds think alike… :lol:

  • Comment 28, posted at 04.10.10 11:25:00 by VanWilder Reply

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  • @Ice (Comment 24) : I’m all for that idea Ice. Pretorius looked really good and I was quite impressed that he got through a whole 65min flawlessly. He usually tries something he shouldn’t, eventually. :mrgreen:

    It would be nice if he could proof me wrong in the WP game. I like the kicking option her brings to the team. Lambie at 12 has also been great. So I wouldn’t mind seeing a Lambie/Stefan or Lambie/Adi combo in midfield.

  • Comment 29, posted at 04.10.10 11:25:38 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 26) : That’s what happens when you don’t watch the game. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 04.10.10 11:27:10 by Letgo Reply
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  • @VanWilder (Comment 27) : I would start with Stefan and bring Adi on later.. Agree?

    @Letgo (Comment 29) : haha, we are gonna get rain! Its twice today! LOL

  • Comment 31, posted at 04.10.10 11:40:49 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 31) : yip, stef`s our man…

  • Comment 32, posted at 04.10.10 11:49:13 by VanWilder Reply

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  • @Ice (Comment 31) : :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 33, posted at 04.10.10 11:58:05 by Letgo Reply
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  • Afternoon everyone :mrgreen:

    Well lets leave it up to Plumpie to choose the best team but also agree win or loose we are still in points at this moment don’t count the only think that does count is the Sharks name semi’s we are going its up to the team to deliver their best, i would bring some young players let the snr players rest for this one because for the semi’s is going to be hard who ever we play if we play Cheetahs we know how that goes on our field, Bulls will want to keep a fit record and my Province whats the CC final so my word its going to be very nerve raking for us as Sharks Fans but like all of us what the best team possible :mrgreen:

  • Comment 34, posted at 04.10.10 12:57:27 by chaz Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 14) : agree letgo maybe we should give our AP a chance but his head just musn’t go big because thats when he play’s like utter shit sorry for the word but true and keep Kockett on the bench if doesn’t go all to well then bring him in.
    I think we are going to need our kickers all on duty with the GOLDEN boots on :???:

  • Comment 35, posted at 04.10.10 13:08:28 by chaz Reply

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  • Can’t win a title without a reliable kicker…..

  • Comment 36, posted at 04.10.10 16:12:57 by Honey Badger Reply

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  • you know i hate logging onto keo as the people know how to talk kak…they recon province are going to lose and play the sharks in the tank and beat them and then play the bulls in the final…

    who says province are that great anyways…

    SHARKS FORVER…and i just hope i see a semifinal that shows us supporters that the sharks dont top logs for nothing…

  • Comment 37, posted at 04.10.10 16:30:18 by shaniboi Reply

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  • @shaniboi (Comment 37) : If that is true lucky us,because losing becomes a habit. ;-)

  • Comment 38, posted at 04.10.10 16:32:55 by Honey Badger Reply

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  • i still rate AP and by the way he was kicking we may have someone who can end a game in the dying minutes with a drop goal or something special…semis and finals dont come down to the amount of tries u score but what magic you can bring…lets back the man cause come 30 october we may be lifting the trophy because of him

  • Comment 39, posted at 04.10.10 16:33:51 by shaniboi Reply

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  • honey i think if we kicked out in the dying moments we may have been 2009 currie cup champs but strange things happen and we didnt take chances..but i feel we can beat any team especially at home…so lets wait n c..

  • Comment 40, posted at 04.10.10 16:35:51 by shaniboi Reply

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