robdylan

Sharks aim to win away


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 10 Sep 2013 at 12:45
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Fresh from a tough session on the park, under the watchful eye of Sharks Director of Rugby Brendan Venter, we caught up with utility back Louis Ludik for a quick chat.

“Ja, it was a tough one,” he admits, with the Sharks coaches understandably in none too charitable a mood after Saturday’s defeat at Newlands. It’s not all doom and gloom in the squad though, as Louis tells us. “Brendan said to us that if, at the beginning of the campaign, we’d been offered this – as a new team with a new coaching staff, to be just one point behind the log leaders at the half-way stage – we’d definitely have taken it.” That’s not to say, of course, that the team is not determined to put right what went wrong over the weekend, but more an indication that they’ll back themselves, back the process and not panic after a poor result.

“Province really did take us apart in the first half, but we’re proud of our second half showing, once we managed to get our game going a bit more. It can be difficult, as a back, when you’re only getting that sort of messy ball and you’re always under pressure, but that just means we need to step up more, make sure to cross the advantage line and start getting things going forward again.”

Louis has been asked to step into a midfield role for the campaign, after playing the majority of his prior rugby in the back three. “Brendan was actually quite relieved,” he tells us, “when I came through the last few games of Super Rugby at centre, because we don’t have a lot of centre options in the squad; with Francois Steyn, Paul Jordaan and Marius Joubert all injured, it’s only really Heimar Williams and Tim Whitehead left and with the rotation system Brendan wants to use, it’s important to have more options than that. I’m really glad I can help out and I’m enjoying it a lot and learning a great deal, even though I still consider myself mainly fullback by trade.”

Looking ahead to the Griquas game, Louis tells us that Venter is very keen to instill a confidence when it comes to playing away from home. “We have more matches away in the second round, but Brendan really wants to work on our mindset about that”, he says. “When we’re in Durban, all of our surroundings and things are familiar and comfortable, but we need to be a team with the confidence to produce our best rugby without those things to fall back on.”

Louis and his wife will head to France, to play for Agen, on completion of the Currie Cup season. “We really felt that the time was right for the move,” he tells us, “and we’re really excited about the opportunity to travel a bit and to see a different part of the world. We know there will be lots of adjustments to make – and the weather will be hard – but we thought and prayed about this decision a lot and really feel it’s the right one. I was lucky in that Heyneke Meyer was very open with me when I spoke to him – about where I fitted in – so that made the decision easier. We’re not sure yet what will happen afterwards, maybe we’ll finish up in France, but perhaps if I get the chance I could also come back to finish my career in South Africa.”

For now, though, Louis remains completely focused on the current Currie Cup campaign, with Saturday’s Kimberley clash against Griquas seen as “a massive, massive challenge. They beat us in the first round and we really do need to make good on that performance when we play them in Kimberley”.



9 Comments

  • Nice one Rob.

    I’ve always liked Ludik and his commitment even when he was still at the Lions. Hardworking honest player.

    I wish you well in France.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.09.13 12:53:18 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
     
  • Good choice for him to go to France, no shot at making the Boks, so take the paycheck and beautiful surroundings

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.09.13 13:19:24 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • Ja nice article! Very skilled and intelligent player and will be sorely missed. Totally deserved to be involved with the Springboks. Who can forget this bit of quick thinking by Ludik. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkoXMi5o2Do

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.09.13 14:13:29 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    gregkaosTeam captain
     
  • Enjoyed the article’s honesty and insight into what the Sharks are trying to achieve. Hope to read more of these!

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.09.13 14:45:30 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    vanmartinAssistant coach
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 4) : well, things are opening up nicely there…. we’re finding everyone really open and helpful, so I don’t see why we won’t be able to do more of this.

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.09.13 15:01:28 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Great piece Rob ,what a loss, a supreme 15 is Ludick. But what has happened to the Sharks though,where’s the depth gone ,also playing a supreme 15 at 13 and an old wing at 15 really,the old problem of playing old age pensioners out of position ,Terblanche at 13,leads to the good youngsters moving on,hence problems in depth of quality centres. Also Venter needs to show more respect to the souhern hemisphere game and a SR coach like AC,and fix the weaknesses so abjectively exposed.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.09.13 16:28:07 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Team captain
     
  • If the Sharks’ tight five isn’t prepared to be hard and take charge we should think about playing a quick game. We need to bring back Sykes.Need some grunt up there.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.09.13 18:07:49 by GreatSharksays Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 7) : I couldn’t agree more but then you need proper 9′s for quick out ball

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.09.13 18:13:35 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Team captain
     
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 7) : in a quick fast paced game

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.09.13 18:14:57 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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