As we go into the final stretch of this year’s Super Rugby competition, let’s find some positives and look at some would’ve, could’ve and should’ves.
Well it’s not really the final stretch because we’re taking another break in between the England test series against the Springboks. The Sharks are currently laying in a very unfavourable 7th position, which they only have themselves to blame. They managed to get a BP from 4 out of the 5 they lost, it could easily have been 8 wins from 9.
The Sharks did win their 2 first home games, which one would expect, but then came 6 points short against the Chief on their return to Kingspark last weekend. The Chiefs would’ve been favourites after a very good start with 7 out of 8 wins. The Sharks played like a team being told; “look, you guys are not good enough to beat the table topping Chiefs, so just go out and manage loosing within 7points and get the bonus point”.
For years now we’ve known the Sharks to do just enough to win the game, as soon as they’re in front they start defending the score, wait for the other team to get ahead then start playing again. For a team with so much potential in player ability and – I believe – coaching staff, they seriously need to sit down and ask themselves what they want to achieve.
One thing that came up a lot in weeks gone by is getting Plum a plane ticket back to where he came from. I don’t think that is going to happen or at least not now during the Super Rugby campaign; maybe something more realistic could be getting a new captain. Keegan is a brilliant player with loads of talent, a player I would rather have in my team then to play against, but we all know by now he is not a captain. Like KSA Shark pointed out in his post, Keegan is not the man to be making the decisions on the pitch. I believe you can blame the coach before the game for the team that is being picked, but as soon as they run onto the field the captain is running the show. Like I said previously, any player can be a captain, but you don’t need a captain you need a leader.
Plum has made some bad decisions in selecting the team, playing Freddy at no 9, last year he had some shocking games but he was also the hero in many, playing in his best position no 10. A guy like Bosman had a shocking season last year, but he had some brilliant games this year, he found his feet at no 12 and after 3 or 4 good games Plum moves him back to the bench.
One of the more interesting moves Plum made was to move JP to no 13, I don’t think many will have objection to that, but then we lost Odwa he could’ve moved JP back to wing. I’d say Ludik is a capable replacement but surely JP has more to offer on the wing? But also to add, Ludik’s been brilliant on defence and made some crucial try saving tackles, but not much on attacking play.
Another thing is their lack of passion to win or maybe there attitude on the pitch; let’s hope the boys were just tired after they had a hectic start to the campaign. They’ve have had their break to spend some time with the family and they’ve been to the Springbok training camp, players will know who is in line for Springbok honours and what Meyer expect of them. Let’s hope they return like a team that want to finish in the playoffs.
But not just to hop on the negatives, let’s give credit where it is due:
Players really doing their best game in and game out include Bismark, Bresler, Coetzee, Keegan, Lambie, Whitehead, Peterson, Mvovo, Viljoen, Botes and Burden, while Bosman had a few good games before he was moved back to the bench.
Coetzee making the most overall tackles 139.
Viljoen second in meters gained 919m.
Keegan and Whitehead among the top 10 line breakers, Keegan 5th with 10 and Whitehead 10th with 8.
And also awaiting the return of Deysel, Beeeeaaast and Kankowski.
With 5 out of their remaining 7 games at home let’s hope the boys can pull something out of the bag and give it their all for the remaining games and make it 7 from 7.Tweet