I had the honour of attending the press conferences after the Currie Cup Final, and sitting there with a Windhoek in my hand still smiling after a great win, this is what went down.
First up were Schalk Burger and Alistair Coetzee, who both arrived about 15 minutes late, and looked awfully interested in taking questions. Burger looked like his favourite sports car has just been wrecked, and Coetzee wasn’t much happier. It was evident that neither coach nor captain expected to be on the losing side on the day, and didn’t seem prepared to take the type of questions thrown at them. Coetzee fielded most of the questions, purely as a result of Schalk’s bad mood and no journalist in the mood for a trip to the dentist.
Both made it quite clear that their handling and penalty counts cost them the game, and did not expect the Sharks to be able to build up such a big lead. This was clear from the captain’s inability to make decent decisions to keep his team in the match, seemingly angry with himself about that fact.
15 minutes later, a smiling-from-ear-to-ear coach entered the room, and the difference in attitude was what everybody expected. The coach fielded a few questions until captain Stef made an appearance a few minutes later, cracking in still wearing his boots and rugby shorts. Such were the celebrations that showers were deemed unnecessary.
Both coach and captain were praising the team effort, and talking up Lambie as a young match winner. I’m sure had Lambie been there, he would have been blushing and giving the team credit. Plumtree made it clear that the attacking outset and the scoring of two tries in the first half was not part of the plan, stating that they just wanted to stay in the game and take the penalties as they came.
Stefan’s after match speech before lifting the trophy continued in the press room, as he slated the journo’s who had written him and his team off. Interestingly enough, Shaun Pollock was the midweek motivational speaker to the Sharks, and what a feeling it must be knowing that you could motivate the Sharks to such a level. Just a pity he could never motivate his own team to win anything.
A rather emotional Plumtree then spoke about the passing of John Mudgeway, a former Crusader and Natal player to whom Plum and assistant coach Grant Bashford were very close to, and how the two coaches sat with him for more than an hour as he died on the eve of the final. Mudgeway suffered from a long illness and his death had a massive impact on the team.
I would like to thank Rob and the Sharksworld gang who have given me the opportunity to witness every single Sharks home victory this Currie Cup. It has been an amazing experience and I hope I was able to share this with the readers.Tweet