robdylan

Big scoreline only favours one team


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks on 24 Oct 2011 at 16:31
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The lob-sided 53-9 result the last time the two sides contesting the Currie Cup Final met will certainly add a fair bit of spice to Saturday’s big game in Johannesburg. The losers on that day, though, will take far more from the loss than the victorious Sharks will.

John Plumtree has a far bigger motivational task on his hands than his namesake John Mitchell does, in short. As hard as you may try to convince yourself that the Sharks players won’t be just that teeniest bit complacent, the reality is that it’s hard to see how a team can become that much better in just two weeks to overturn a 44-point hiding. That’s the kind of thought that will doubtless be running through the minds of the Sharks players this week and the challenge for the management team will not be to quell those voices, but to rather use the message as positive motivation, rather than a source of complacency.

For Mitchell, on the other hand, it’s quite easy. He’s already stated that his team’s attitude going into that Durban fixture was poor, given that they effectively had nothing to lose or gain either way and the knowledge that they are nowhere near as bad as that last scoreline would suggest will serve as huge motivational fodder for the Lions. In short, all Mitchell needs to do in terms of motivation is write down that scoreline and ask his team to go out and turn it around. They will be champing at the bit to do so, feeling aggrieved – nay pissed off – at the thought that their opponents will already written them off.

The Sharks need to go a little further backwards and remember that the Lions have had them dead and buried the last two times they’ve played in Johannesburg and while the Currie Cup game came at a time when the Sharks were seriously limited in terms of personnel, it’s the Super Rugby game earlier in the season that should have the alarm bells ringing. On that day, the Lions totally annihilated a full strength Sharks team and had them staring down the barrel of an ignominious defeat, before a Butch James yellow card allowed the visitors back into the contest. The Sharks will take heart from the fact that they managed to fight back for a draw that day, but perhaps will also not be too quick to write off the Lions as no threat, as they’ve shown they have the goods to handle the Sharks and their Bok-laden pack.



42 Comments

  • What ever Plum said @ half time on saturday against the Cheetahs he has to say up-front with this game, and hope fully the player will be hungry cause hungry Lions is awaiting in the den…

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.10.11 16:41:03 by Franshark Reply
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    FransharkTeam captain
     
  • You could also say that this will give the Sharks confidence and make the Lions unsure.

    So using that game for Mitchell may not be the way to go. You never know how a player feels after a defeat like that.

    The Sharks should know better than to think they’ll get a Currie Cup trophy as easy as that, regardless of the opposition.

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.10.11 16:55:57 by Letgo Reply
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  • Sharks are overwhelming favourites to retain the Currie Cup and confirm themselves as the contemporary super power in domestic rugby with 3 trophies in 4 years! :smile:

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.10.11 16:57:23 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Letgo (Comment 2) : I’m just worried, cos the Sharks tend not to be the most “straightforward” team to motivate…

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.10.11 16:57:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : in fact, let me elaborate here. What worries me is that the Sharks need to win this game in their heads before they take the field. If they do that, they will walk it. But if they aren’t mentally prepared, then it doesn’t matter that they beat the lions by 44 points two weeks ago. They will get nailed.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.10.11 16:58:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 3) :
    Hush your cursed mouth you bad-luck gypsy! :wink:

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.10.11 16:59:19 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 3) : gonna be hard to swing that one when the Bulls won 3 super rugby titles in 4 years…

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.10.11 16:59:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • But yes, Plumtree will have to get that game out of his players heads as fast as possible…or use it in his own way, to motivate the players to produce the same kind of performance, all the while reminding them that they will need to produce the same kind of performance to have any chance of winning this game.

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.10.11 17:00:00 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : comment of the day :)

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.10.11 17:00:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 8) : maybe he also needs to remind them that there were actually 3 quite soft tries towards the end of that game which inflated the scoreline somewhat

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.10.11 17:01:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I get it, I’m trying to be your alter ego. It has been working for me for this years play-offs. Only positive comments.

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.10.11 17:04:56 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Yeah, all those things. I think maybe it will be better to get that game behind you as fast as possible and just concentrate on what lies before you. And the Lions showed, by ending top of the table and beating WP comprehensively, that they will not roll over to any Sharks team.

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.10.11 17:07:51 by Letgo Reply
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  • How hard are we trying to go into this game as the underdog? :)

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.10.11 17:10:54 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I’m hoping for three quick ones to start of the Final.

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.10.11 17:11:18 by Letgo Reply
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  • Like I told the Province supporters, yes you are favorites, yes you probably will win the game, but don’t underestimate the Lions they have nothing to lose and everything to gain

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.10.11 17:12:05 by Mutley Reply
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    MutleyTeam captain
     
  • Predictions:
    U19 final – Bulls
    U21 final – Bulls (with half their CC side)
    CC final – Sharks (come on!!)

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.10.11 17:13:52 by hendrikp Reply

    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
     
  • Come on Sharks!!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.10.11 17:27:57 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
     
  • let’s look at last year… Sharks already had top spot sewn up, so sent a slightly weaker side to Cape Town and got a smack from Province in the last league game.

    Anyone remember which team won the final?

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.10.11 17:38:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • we can definately take it, plus there will be heaps of sharks supporters there

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.10.11 17:41:21 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
     
  • Man this is going to be BIG !!!!! very big !!!! cant wait !!!!!! im excited and nervous !!! is this what a pregnant lady feels like??

    CRAZY !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.10.11 17:46:28 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 20) : Drink 10Jugs of beer in 10minutes and you’ll have a more balanced idea of what a pregnant woman feels like. :) All bloated and needing a wee. :)

    I take my hat off to you as a Lions supporter. This getting to the play-offs must be a new eeling to you. :wink:

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.10.11 17:53:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • And remember 1990 – N Tvl thrashed Natal in the final pool game (can’t remember by how many points) and we all know who won that final – I am scared very scared :(

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.10.11 17:58:56 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's DudetteSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Megatron (Comment 3) : well look what the lion dragged in :)

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.10.11 17:59:35 by Poisy Reply
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  • Zibbie :lol: a little although by the end you are so sick of being as mobile as a beache whale that you are not nervous any more just excited to get it out! :)

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.10.11 18:01:44 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's DudetteSuper Rugby player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Now if only TG was with the team. :(

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.10.11 18:04:02 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Agree ,some one once told me this ;
    The difference between the Bulls players and other players from other unions was that the bulls players dreamt of playing for the bulls and then playing for the springboks ,not the other way arround.

    The emphasis for most of our guys is world domination either at super rugby level or more so at test rugby level- these lions players have a long way to go before they reach that same place and the only way they can better themselves is through team success.

    Last year we had a few players hell bent on winning the cc; Willem Alberts ,Pat Lambie and Andries Strauss ,this year? they are all on the bench unfortunately

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.10.11 18:39:50 by Talent Reply
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    TalentCurrie Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : that score was not 53-9 and the Lions did not send a “weaker” team like the sharks did last year…

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.10.11 18:46:49 by Franshark Reply
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    FransharkTeam captain
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : I agree with that one, the 44point victory will mean nothing if we loose this one… The sharks should be professional enough to not underestimate a final, there is more experience in the sharks team by far

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.10.11 18:53:45 by Franshark Reply
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    FransharkTeam captain
     
  • The build-up to the final just won’t be complete without Morne predicting a Sharks loss :mrgreen:

    Where is he??

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.10.11 22:16:02 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) : @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 24) :

    its a bit strange … heheh . will enjoy it while it lasts !!! hopefully it goes the way of the Lions but i think we have already made a lot of progress this year .. Holding thumbs ;)

    @Franshark (Comment 27) : A lions team without Elton … Elton makes that team really he does .

    if he has a good game we will win more times then we will loose .

    i believe the game will be more close than the one down in Durbs . The Sharks front row is in a different class

    But if the Lions can Deliver like they did against Province , Win or loose , ill be happy !! but ill still prefer winning :P

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.10.11 23:51:23 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 30) : Sharks did the bulk of the damage when Elton was on the field, though…

  • Comment 31, posted at 25.10.11 07:51:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • the lions are going get the ball away from the pack as fast as they can and then get it wide.will play the high ball and try keep the sharks in their half and then wait for the penalty for Elton to take the 3 points.

  • Comment 32, posted at 25.10.11 08:17:55 by pete69 Reply

    pete69Currie Cup player
     
  • It amazes me that we talking about coaches having to motivate players for a Currie Cup Final…really? Ask any player from the amateur era if they needed any coach to motivate them for a Currie Cup Final and i can bet u i know the answer! If you cant motivate yourself for a game like this then you arent playing the game for the right reasons and it will show in your performance.

  • Comment 33, posted at 25.10.11 09:02:59 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 31) : Your headline has it spot on.
    The game at Kings park two weeks ago means/meant very little and can only result in a level of complacency if not seen in that context.
    The Sharks need to focus on the Super 15 game earlier this year – or the CC game in JHB in 2010.

    This is not a bad Lions side and they are playing good rugby. Subject to selections I think that the teams are pretty well matched in most areas except in the front row where the Sharks have a clear advantage and the midfield wher I think that Doppies and Hollenbach will have the edge on any combo involving Bosman, Stef, joubert, Adi or JLP.
    If Pat plays 12 that will even things out in midfield but i think he should start at 10.
    IMO it will be a hard and tight typical final on Saturday.

  • Comment 34, posted at 25.10.11 09:03:42 by steve Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • I’m worried about Saturday’s game. But, then again, I’m worried before every game we play. It’s hard to predict which Sharks team will pitch these days. Sometimes we look like an un-coached team with no clear game direction and other days (like the last game against the Lions) we look like world-beaters.

  • Comment 35, posted at 25.10.11 10:53:35 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 35) : We’re a little like the French that way…

  • Comment 36, posted at 25.10.11 11:09:05 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 31) :

    True . i still believe it will be a bit of a different game :P

  • Comment 37, posted at 25.10.11 11:22:33 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 37) : of that there is no doubt

  • Comment 38, posted at 25.10.11 11:27:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 36) : I didn’t even want to mention that, especially with our French Connection in the most pivotal role on the field. Let’s hope he comes onto the park with his switch flipped the right way, otherwise we’re stuffed from the word go.

  • Comment 39, posted at 25.10.11 11:28:32 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @steve (Comment 34) : Steve, who should we be looking out for in the Bulls u21 team.

    I get a feeling their tight 5 are pretty good.

  • Comment 40, posted at 25.10.11 12:17:58 by beet Reply
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    beetCurrie Cup player
     
  • @beet (Comment 40) :

    They have a very good all round side especially with all their CC players in.
    I think that their loosies – Ross, CJ and Arno Botha are more of a concern than the tight 5 – the set piece was fairly even against the lions save for the Lions not being able to find their jumpers which had less to do with the bulls locks than poor execution.
    lohan jacobs and Fouche at 10 are a typical Bulls halfback pair and can control with the kicking game.
    Venter at 12 you know about and they have lots of pace in their back three – Blommetjies etc
    Unfortunately for the Lions in the semi they did themselves no favours with a few key guys having off days, silly mistakes and defensive lapses out wide.
    They are a very good side but definately not unbeatable – sharks just need to turn up on the day and keep the errors to a minimum – you dont want to be playing catch up against them.

  • Comment 41, posted at 25.10.11 15:54:07 by steve Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • @steve (Comment 41) : thanks Steve.

    Stander has really upped his game during the 2nd part of the season. He didn’t look the part during the Vodacom Cup.

    I’ve been very impressed with the base kicking abilities and assertiveness of the last 3 scrummies out of Affies – Lohan, Rudi v Rooyen and now Carlo Engelbrecht. Whoever is overseeing their technical training is doing an outstanding job.

  • Comment 42, posted at 26.10.11 12:56:41 by beet Reply
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