Talk about injudicious word choice setting tongues a-wagging and rugby fans a-panicking! Our friends at SuperSport certainly managed to twist a fair few pairs of panties yesterday by announcing that Sharks coach john Plumtree would be taking an “indefinite” break from the sport.
That, frankly, is as far from the truth as it’s possible to be without actually, blatantly, lying. What Plumtree DID say yesterday is that he will be handing over the reigns during the Currie Cup, in order to allow himself a bit of a break. He doesn’t yet know how long that break will be, but given that the whole blerrie competition is only about three months long, we can safely assume that Plummo is going to be “on holiday” for a matter of weeks, rather than months, years, or (as SuperSport would have you believe) the rest of time as we know it.
Coaches get fatigued too, it seems and if you think about it, they don’t really have off-seasons either. Plum, for one reason or another, has been pretty much operating in back-to-the-wall mode for the last three years straight and the toll that all of that must have taken on his nerves is pretty severe. In short, the oke needs a bit of time off and I’m pretty happy that he’s being given it. If the Sharks hadn’t made the Super Rugby final, I reckon he would have been having a very different discussion with his bosses this week….
So what’s going to happen is this: Plum will coach the team this weekend. Then, at some stage during the next week (or weeks) he will hand over to a “caretaker coaching committee” comprising Hugh Reece-Edwards, Grant Bashford and Rudolf Straeuli. They’ll assume responsibility for the day-to-day running of the team while Plum recharges his batteries (probably still in Durban and probably still popping in to Kings Park most days anyway) for a few weeks. When he’s ready to come back, he’ll come back; you can be sure of that. It will probably be towards the end of the Currie Cup, or it might not. Either way, he’ll be back in time for Super Rugby and the world isn’t going to stop turning, however long he takes.
One thing Plumtree has taken pains to emphasise over the last few days is exactly how excited, positive and committed he is about and to the future of Sharks rugby. That, to me, is about as far from “indefinite” as you can get.Tweet