During the week Sharks coach John Plumtree highlighted a few areas of their Round 5 opposition, the Brumbies’, scrum that he would like referee Jonathan Kaplan to have a close look at. Plumtree was quoted as saying: “There are some things we’ve spotted with the Brumbies’ scrum that we aren’t happy with”. Brumbies and World Cup winning coach Jake White however feels that this is just John Plumtree showing his frustration.
White said that he has read these comments about their scrum and that he will meet with Jonathan Kaplan, he however added that they get feedback from Lyndon Bray, who’s the head of referees, every week and according to him there’s nothing untoward about the Brumbies’ scrum, “In fact” said White, “He’s praised our scrum”.
“I don’t think we scrum illegally, against the Rebels we scrummed against a pack that had no flanker because he was sent off and it’s probably tougher to keep the scrum square in those situations.”
“Jonathan Kaplan is one of the most experienced referees, though and I don’t think he’s going to get hoodwinked into comments we make or I make or John makes. At the end of the day he’ll blow it the way he sees it.” said White.
Later in the interview White caused a few chuckles when he was asked about the players who played under him during his time as Springbok coach and jokingly said: “Yeah, I know who scrums legally and which ones scrum illegally, you know, because obviously I’ve taught them everything they know.”
Then added that there certainly is an advantage to knowing these players “like the back of your hand” and said: “I understand their psyche. I understand what their strengths and weaknesses are”.
The Sharks and the Brumbies are two of only three unbeaten sides left in the competition and will both also play their first cross-conference game, the Sharks having played three South African teams, as the Brumbies have played 3 Australian teams. Both teams will have a lot to play for this weekend, as a win here might just secure top spot and leave them as the only unbeaten team in the competition. The Bulls, the third unbeaten team will have to get their first ever win against the Crusaders in Christchurch to maintain their unbeaten record.
White said that they were expecting another tough game and showed the Sharks some respect saying that they are a good side and pointed out that they played in the final last year.
“They’ve probably been one of the form teams for the last couple of years in South Africa both in Currie Cup and in Super Rugby.” said White.
“They enjoy playing in Durban, they enjoy playing at home, and we’re just going to have a full go and try and get a result.”
“We have an opportunity, if we win on the weekend, to go to the most consecutive away wins in the history of Super Rugby, so there’s obviously a massive amount for us at stake in terms of getting a result”, the Brumbies coach added.Tweet