Playing according to your strengths

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 11 Jul 2012 at 08:15
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

After the Sharks bonus point win against the Bulls on Friday night, something not many thought would be possible, there’s only one question I would like to ask.

Why can’t they play like that every weekend?

We still have the same coaching staff.

We still have the same players, they actually played without two of their star players, namely Patrick Lambie and Willem Alberts, their most experienced lock Steven Sykes and reliable Jacques Botes.

Could it have been the return of Francois Styen?

Could it have been the bye from the weekend before?

It could be the test series against England and even in the case of Freddie Michalak, the test series against Argentina. A lot of the Sharks players that played for the Springboks were also the stand out players in the Springbok jersey, the likes of Lambie, Pieterson, Alberts, Bismarck, Beast, Coetzee and even a player some questioned for being there in the first place showed what he was still capable of, namely Ryan Kankowski.

The way the Sharks beat the Bulls Friday night was not through individual brilliance but rather through teamwork. A pack of forwards that scrummed well, hitting rucks hard and cleaning good ball, and a back line that defended extremely well with a couple of try-saving tackles, one to mention is Mvovo on Ndungane.

The Sharks play their best rugby when their forwards dominate, six out of the starting eight forwards played for the Springboks against England, a good mixture between strong tight forwards, strong ball carriers to put up phases and quick loosies to run into gaps or join up with the backs. Tight forwards get to the tackled player, clean quick ball for strong ball cariers like Alberts, Deysel and even Coetzee and tight forwards clean quick ball for loosies like Daniel, Kankowski and Botes to join the backs and put Peterson and Mvovo in the corner. The right combination of back line players and everyone being on top of their game.

Another question; the game we saw on Friday night will it be good enough to beat the Cheetahs, a team that likes running rugby? We definitely cant afford to slip up on defense, and a team that likes to come back in the second half. If we do go through and we play a possible playoff game against Jake White’s Brumbies could we beat them in Australia, a team with no big names, but a team with a good coach and a bunch of willing players.

As the Sharks face another must win this Saturday, I’d like to quote the words of Big Fish “my fellow fans, I hope you will join me in still hoping for the best, and still believing in our team”.


  • Frans Steyn made a huge diffs, I think the week off also helped our springboks allot.

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.07.12 08:23:39 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli BoelieTeam captain
  • There’s so many factors that influences a whether you can pull through a win on the day. On Friday night all those things came together and worked for the Sharks, it wasn’t just one thing. We just have to hope that it could happen four more times and we could be in with a shot to win this whole thing.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.07.12 08:44:40 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • Why is it that we only perform when our backs are against the wall? I think this motivates us and we then know what to do and what is required out of the match. Including a head doctor as part of the management would help a lot in closing out tight games earlier in the season by getting the guys metally right for the match.

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.07.12 09:05:59 by Viking Reply
    VikingCurrie Cup player
  • There were a few key things to the Sharks win. And its the same key things every time they play well or badly.
    1. The pace at which they played the game was high as opposed to slow and laboured.
    2. Our first time defense and scrambling defense was good.
    3. Our penalty count at rucks etc was low.

    If they Sharks can control those 3 things they have all the ability to beat any team anywhere.

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.07.12 11:35:02 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach

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