Richard Ferguson

A simple change for the better


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Bulls, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, WP on 22 Oct 2012 at 11:30
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Sharks have made it to yet another Currie Cup final, and we can praise the players for their performance on the pitch, but the mastermind behind it all, Mr John Plumtree, only pops into the headlines when the team is doing badly.

The one area where Plumtree has made a change from previous seasons, is in his selections.

In previous seasons, we were happy with wins during the regular season, but still complaining about youngsters sitting on the bench and only getting 90 seconds on the park and not proving anything in that time.

I am not sure whether this change has come about as a result of better youngsters in the setup, or simply as a result of the amount of rugby being played at the moment, and the coach realising that the only way to keep the team from breaking down in totality, is to rotate and rest.

From this new approach, we have seen the rise in a few youngster really showing their worth, stepping up throughout the season and into the play-offs even, showing they have what it takes to be involved in some way or another during the Super Rugby season next year.

Someone like Cobus Reinach has showed great character, not only in match against the Bulls, where he kept Charl McLeod on the bench for the full 80 minutes (whether Charl McLeod has an injury niggle, we cannot be sure of), but also in matches in the build-up to the semi final, where he was rewarded as the Currie Cup Player of the month.

Other bolder-than-before selections include playing U21 prop Alan Dell a few weeks back, when things were not going well in our front row, and even though we called upon Pieter Dixon, Plumtree continued with Monde Hadebe as the starting hooker, until we got Kyle Cooper and Craig Burden back.

Two weeks ago, the Sharks were bolstered by the return of all the Springbok players, and while other teams were forced into selecting all their returning players, the Sharks kept their heads and made only necessary changes. Even coming into the all-important semi-final against the Bulls, the Sharks left players like Beast Mtawarira and Willem Alberts on the bench.

This approach of rewarding hard work amongst the juniors must surely have a positive effect on the overall team dynamic, where players know that hard work will be rewarded with game time. The team aspect of playing as a unit of 30 players instead of playing for yourself, is an attitude that I am sure has resulted in the Sharks finishing top of the table after the regular season.

Looking forward to this weekend’s final, I wish Plumtree and his team the best in their selections, as I can only imagine that he would like to reward every single player with a game in the final, but there are only 22 spots available, and those missing out, will have to wait until next time. So Plum, thanks for another great Currie Cup season, and no matter the result this weekend, you have made us proud and as a team, we are in a better position for Super Rugby Champion status.



20 Comments

  • very good article, Rich – and I agree with you

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.10.12 11:42:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • I have been one of Plum´s biggest critics, but I´m very happy to eat my words and humble pie at the same time.

    Well done Mr. Plumtree and well done Sharks. Really proud of you guys!

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.10.12 11:54:37 by rhineshark Reply

    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
     
  • @rhineshark (Comment 2) : I’m saving my praise of Plum til after Saturday’s game.

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.10.12 11:57:43 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
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    The Sharks SharkieVodacom Cup player
     
  • Yeah, very well done Plum, but unless we win the cup we haven’t achieved what we’ve set out to do.

    Especially with the favorite tag hanging heavily around the team’s neck, it will take a ton more character to finally win a cup whilst being touted as favourites.

    Anyone can overcome the underdog tag, but only a true championship team can be expected to win, and still stay grounded enough to work hard and realise that the game is only won after 80mins, even if you are NZ vs. the worst OZ team in decades. ;-)

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.10.12 12:07:28 by FireTheLooser Reply

    FireTheLooserTeam captain
     
  • for me, the key thing here is that Plumtree has successfully changed the game that the Sharks play. We are no longer just idly bashing it up through Alberts on every ball

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.10.12 12:14:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • Well said Rich. Plumtree has obviously learnt some lessons. Big move away from shoe-horning Oupa into midfield.

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.10.12 12:16:04 by Big Fish Reply
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  • After watching the games on sat, disappointed with the boring second semi, i must say that plum did me proud by having faith in the younsters. Last year the boks were thrown in to fall down. This year they are the backups allowing us to show the current boks that there is more than just the bulls and other oldies.

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.10.12 12:17:41 by Dunx Reply

    DunxCurrie Cup player
     
  • Plum deserves some credit for evolving the Sharks game, also backing Keegan Daniel when so many were sceptical of his captaincy

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.10.12 12:19:11 by Ludz Reply

    LudzCurrie Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Exactly.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.10.12 12:19:13 by rhineshark Reply

    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
     
  • The change came about because Plumtree said. “so they want me fired because I’m not giving the youngsters a chance. I’ll show them. Let’s see what they have to say when the youngsters let us lose even further?”

    3 MONTHS LATER.
    Plumtree. “F??k ME!!! They were right, these youngsters, are all good except for that one prop.”

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.10.12 12:20:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • After watching the games on sat, disappointed with the boring second semi, i must say that plum did me proud by having faith in the youngsters. Last year the boks were thrown in to fall down. This year they are the backups allowing us to show the current boks that there is more than just the bulls and other oldies.

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.10.12 12:20:58 by Dunx Reply

    DunxCurrie Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :
    Good point!!!

    How could I forget that “pass to Alberts then pass to Bismark” gameplan. :roll:

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.10.12 12:22:48 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big FishTeam captain
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 12) : we’re bloody lucky he didn’t break Alberts beyond any hope of repair

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.10.12 12:26:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • I still dont believe that the majority of coaches utilise the full value of their bench. Rugby is no longer a 15man game but at the highest level you need to pick 22 players that can all make a contribution. If a coach isnt going to utilise a guy, then why pick him? And secondly dont pick him and play him for 5 secs. Reinach had a great game on Sat but he did start to tire towards the end and i really feel that McCloed should have been used.

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.10.12 12:29:09 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKSuper Rugby player
     
  • I think that using Alberts and Deysel for a half each could prove to be a masterstroke.

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.10.12 12:49:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 14) : I agree with you fully, around the 60 to 65 min time period was when he began making silly mistakes. I was actually asking for McCleod to come on.

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.10.12 12:49:19 by Dunx Reply

    DunxCurrie Cup player
     
  • I see Jaco Peyper has been given the Final. Better than Lawrence I suppose.

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.10.12 13:12:30 by Amateur Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • I would include Pieter-Steph du Toit in the team for Saturday.

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.10.12 15:05:37 by pete69 Reply

    pete69Currie Cup player
     
  • @pete69 (Comment 18) : especially for the line-outs!

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.10.12 18:45:51 by sharktooth Reply

    sharktoothUnder 19 player
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 14) : You have to keep a few players back to cover for injuries. Sending all your reserves on with some time to go would be absolute stupidity.

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.10.12 20:51:07 by MysticShark Reply
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    MysticSharkSuper Rugby player
     

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