If the Sharks coaches were trying to put together an instructional video entitled “Ruining a Young Player’s Confidence in Seven Easy Steps”, then the way that Nick Schonert was treated in the run-up to Saturday’s loss in Sydney could have been the case study on which it was based.
It goes a little something like this:
Step 1: Tell the prop your WERE planning to take on tour as cover that he’s not going any more – about 4 hours prior to departure.
Step 2: Depart for tour with only 2 fit props. Publicly announce that one of them definitely won’t play the next game.
Step 3: Place every single young prop in the province on standby while you scour the globe for a replacement.
Step 4: Leave everybody hanging for more than 24 hours with no feedback given whatsoever.
Step 5: Finally, grudgingly announce that one of them (Nick Schonert) “may be flown over as cover”, late on Tuesday night Australian time.
Step 6: After giving the youngster (fresh off his first-ever flight to Sydney) a single practice session to acclimatise, name him on the bench for the weekend’s game.
Step 7: Pull him from the game at the last minute and let the half-fit guy mentioned in step 2 play instead.
Now, if all of the poor dumb fans haven’t been left scratching our heads enough at the above, spare a thought for the poor player, who must at this stage be seriously wondering what the hell he did wrong, then right, then wrong again, in such a short space of time, to be yanked from the Vodacom Cup ranks, flown all the way to Australia and then summarily dropped on the eve of his first big game. I’m sure he must be feeling absolutely brimming with confidence now – not at all like he’s just dome dumb pawn to be used and abused as the Sharks see fit.
And we all act surprised when our young talent doesn’t “show any loyalty to the Sharks”…Tweet