robdylan

Sharks playing without the shackles


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 7 Oct 2014 at 09:49
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Sharks are playing attractive rugby again and I like it!

I think it’s fair to say that the current crop of players seemed a rather dejected and dispirited lot, suffering from a proper Super Rugby hangover for the early part of this Currie Cup campaign. The physical and mental toll exacted on many of them was high; those who had played Super Rugby were no doubt feeling the pain of working so stupidly hard for so long, yet ultimately getting no reward. For the others, players who for the most part were written off and told they weren’t good enough to feature in the Southern Hemisphere showpiece, playing Currie Cup rugby must have seemed a rather bittersweet consolation prize and not a reason to get overly excited.

That vibe, though, appears to have disappeared. It started to lift the moment the Currie Cup coaches stood up and took control of the team’s destiny, perhaps defying the Director who reportedly used the Griquas defeat as an opportunity to tell everyone from top to bottom just how useless he thought they were. I feel that the team pulled together at that moment, with White’s vitriol used as mental motivation to foster a real desire and hunger to do well, if for no other reason than to show him a big, fat, collective middle finger.

One feels that week by week, as confidence and team spirit has started to ebb back into the Sharks, so too the “Super Rugby shackles” have began to dissolve, with the team now backing themselves to play the sort of rugby that has made the side famous in the past. The green shoots were there at Loftus and started to bloom in earnest against the Kings. While the team may have only scored one try against the Lions, the attacking game was always the preferred option, with the added comfort of Zeilinga’s metronome there as a handy fallback.

Spirits are high once more and while we all know that there’s a long road ahead for the Sharks, I for one am thrilled at just how quickly we’ve managed to recapture some of the feel-good vibe. The players look happy and are expressing that emotion on the field. Long may that situation endure.



58 Comments

  • Huzzah!

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.10.14 09:51:46 by PTAShark Reply
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    DragnipurSuper Rugby player
     
  • Sad to hear that White would ‘kick a man while he’s down’. Really disheartening to hear that.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.10.14 09:51:59 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I likey like very much :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.10.14 09:54:09 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 2) : Well he is an old school teacher, that is what they are good at.

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.10.14 09:57:42 by KingRiaan Reply

    KingRiaanTeam captain
     
  • Well we all like a running game open and exciting 1 must just have a plan b if ball not sticking or bouncing our way

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.10.14 09:59:36 by Jasongibb Reply

    Under 19 player
     
  • It is great seeing the boys play Sharks rugby again. It makes them a joy to watch. I am glad I’m not BMH this week, because I think his biggest decision is going to be in how to have both Cronje and Fred on the field at the same time. Maybe move Cronje to 15 and Fred at 10 and rotate them according to attack and defence?

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.10.14 10:00:14 by KingRiaan Reply

    KingRiaanTeam captain
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 2) : True but we needed a “villain” to get under their skins and force them to raise that middle finger.

    I can only relate to this like one of my teachers at school who told me I had absolutely no chance of getting a B in a particular subject I struggled with and that I should’ve taken a different class. I was regularly getting low D or E marks but that comment made me angry was determined to prove him wrong. Ok. I didn’t get a B, but C+ was miles better than I’d ever achieved in that subject.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.10.14 10:10:18 by gregkaos Reply
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    gregkaosTeam captain
     
  • This article says exactly what I was thinking. At the beginning of the CC the players looked like they didn’t wanna be on the field but that has definitely changed. I am very happy to see them enjoy themselves again.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.10.14 10:10:56 by Citizen Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • @gregkaos (Comment 7) : What gets me is that Jake White is supposed to be a professional. I realise coaches need to lay down the law at times (and Sharks players need that) but this behavior sounds vindictive. I know White has his flaws but I did not expect that from him.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.10.14 10:44:53 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : yeah not disagreeing with you on that. Perhaps it was an unintended yet welcome consequence of him acting unprofessionally, but whatever the case, he is no longer with the sharks and our boys look like they are enjoying playing rugby again.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.10.14 10:53:16 by gregkaos Reply
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  • I am battling to understand the jumbled message coming out here,as I understood it ,Jake was not involved or at least responsible for the Currie Cup.This was handed over to Brad,Sean and Anthony.
    Now it seems this was not the case as he was there castigating all and sundry on their abysmal performance against the Griquas
    So was he or wasn’t he involved in the Currie Cup and if not why not.
    I personaly don’t mind him telling them that they were shite against the Griquas,because they are professional Sportsman,and they were dogshite,in that game.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.10.14 10:59:31 by The hound Reply
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  • There are still a few glaring weaknesses in this Sharks side. The scrum is a problem…lineouts are average- we actually seem better on the opposition ball. And then the handling and defense is still fairly poor in my opinion. If the Lions had better discipline we would have struggled last week to get the win even though we dominated the game

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.10.14 11:16:44 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • Hooray, I got my wish!

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.10.14 11:21:29 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling SongTeam captain
     
  • gotta love the intent being shown but still think not playing close to actual ability as too many soft handling errors and lapses on defence.

    however I am glad to be again telling the in laws (all Bulls supporters) that they can pipe down as I got soooo much flak for the Jake ball my beloved Sharks dished up. The signs are good and with Reinach also in the mix now, we can expect more fireworks.

    Cam has been superb but he will surely benefit from some observations of Reinach. Reinach’s passing definitely looked much crisper during his combined 15 mins ;-)

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.10.14 12:08:50 by Kabouter Reply

    KabouterCurrie Cup player
     
  • Things also changed when BMH started to pick André at 12!!!!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.10.14 12:54:34 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 11) : he was the Directly ctor of Rugby and was over all and sundry so could come and tell the players and coaches what to do and how to play when he deemed it necessary so yes he could motivate or chastised them after every game if he felt it was necessary.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.10.14 12:57:58 by JD Reply
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  • @Kabouter (Comment 14) : would like to see Reinach play off the bench and let the current 9/10 combo start with possibly Fred and Reinach taking over after 60min.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.10.14 13:01:37 by JD Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 7) : lol so your teacher was right. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.10.14 13:12:57 by Poisy Reply
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    PoisyTeam captain
     
  • @Poisy (Comment 18) : Yes. Yes he was and reminded me as such.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.10.14 13:21:22 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 19) : was this teacher a mr ron pet?

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.10.14 13:27:25 by Poisy Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 18) : so your point is???????

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.10.14 13:35:57 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 21) : no point just messing around

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.10.14 13:37:26 by Poisy Reply
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    PoisyTeam captain
     
  • Sorry just posted something on another thread but other than his pole kicking, Fred was diabolically bad.
    He lost the ball every time he got tackled, either held up or just bullied so much that he let go of it. He also threw the pass that ended up being 7 points for the Lions.
    Any other day and he would have been solely responsible for losing a game. Cant have that sort of inconsistent play in a final.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.10.14 13:40:58 by John Galt Reply

    John GaltCurrie Cup player
     
  • Hmmm, I remember picking up some flak for suggesting that Jake was a bully for his special(centre /flank/piss off) treatment of Esterhuizen.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.10.14 14:02:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 24) : you did, from me.

    And I was wrong.

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.10.14 14:03:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 25) : Ok, thats another beer big man. :cool:

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.10.14 14:26:47 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • It seems most teams in SA are now embracing a more balanced game. Hopefully the attacking intent will also lead to better skills developing across the board.

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.10.14 14:37:44 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 22) : so it’s basically like picking Spies pointless……..

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.10.14 14:58:20 by JD Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 27) : we can only hope………

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.10.14 14:59:34 by JD Reply
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  • One shackle the Sharks have been without, and which they won’t regain during the play-offs, is that of being the FAVOURITE.

    Every game our boys play will be as no-hope underdogs….we like that :grin:

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.10.14 15:08:11 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 27) : IRB must be smiling from ear to ear…all the law changes have now finally resulted in attractive running rugby becoming winning rugby.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.10.14 15:10:14 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • @JD (Comment 28) : :razz:

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.10.14 15:37:13 by Poisy Reply
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    PoisyTeam captain
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 30) : Hmmm… Newlands is practically home ground for the Sharks these days… and WP have a similar claim to make about Kings Park. Happy hunting grounds for both teams. Thing is though, we’ll probably be doing all our playing at Newlands from here on out :cool:

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.10.14 15:46:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 33) : maybe Sharks should lose the first game at Newlands and then go back for fhe final and beat them and not like they did with the Saders beat them in first game and lose in playoff game.

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.10.14 15:53:48 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 17) : true, continuity now is critical for the next three ;-) games!

    Reinach just needs some proper game time

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.10.14 16:14:16 by Kabouter Reply

    KabouterCurrie Cup player
     
  • @JD (Comment 16) : Maybe if Jake gave them that sorta speech Before the Griquas game we could`ve saved our Currie Cup season at least . . .

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.10.14 16:20:56 by Original Pierre Reply
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    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 36) : season is not over yet boet, at least another two games to come and maybe three if Sharks reach the final.

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.10.14 16:28:25 by JD Reply
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  • @Kabouter (Comment 35) : I was thinking more about giving the young guys some experience before Super rugby next year.

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.10.14 16:30:14 by JD Reply
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  • I agree. I have been bitch’n since the first SR game that we had no gees. Suddenly we are a team. Beating WP will show that we are on a definite roll!

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.10.14 16:52:25 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    KILLER SHARKTeam captain
     
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 39) : slow start but getting better?!?!?!?!

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.10.14 17:02:12 by JD Reply
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  • Not gonna comment on JW again.

    That said, I think we need to look at the gameplan in the context of where professional sport is headed generally.

    There is no such thing as defensive play anymore, in almost all successful sports sides.
    Go watch football, snooker, cricket, NFL, in fact, you could virtually pick a sport.
    The fabric of professional sport has changed (or is changing) – its all about attack now – there is no more room for playing defensively because, quite simply, the carrot of winning is now greater than the stick of losing.

    Tiger Woods changed golf, IPL changed cricket, 7s and SuperRugby has changed rugby.
    Go for the win, and do it as directly as possible.
    IPL changed cricket forever. I remember watching test cricket in 80s and early 90s where the run-rate was 2 per over on average, even less if Kepler was batting. Now its 4.5.

    In that respect Jake, and defensive rugby in general, belongs in the dinosaur age. I predict it’ll become even more so in the future. Defensive gameplans may give you an acceptable win percentage, but rugby is entertainment and defensive rugby will no longer win you the big trophies and definitely wont engender you to your fans.
    And, like it or not, with rugby being a commercial venture, bums on seats is as important as winning rugby.

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.10.14 19:00:14 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 39) :

    Wouldnt hang my hat on that fella…

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.10.14 19:00:40 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 41) :
    Interesting perspective.

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.10.14 22:10:05 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • The Sharks must go balls-to-the-wall against WP, you never know, maybe the Cheaters beats the Lions and we get a home semi. Even if they don’t, giving WP a snotklap at home before the semi’s would be a massive psychological boost for us. but I would still like it if we can get a home semi, klap the Lions, and Pollard and the Bulls trample the Bergies, so that we have a home final.

  • Comment 44, posted at 08.10.14 08:34:04 by KingRiaan Reply

    KingRiaanTeam captain
     
  • I cant see the Sharks beating this WP side away, they have been the form side this year and are playing good rugby. There are rumours AC may tinker with his side to give them a rest and if he does then we can def win as they rely a lot on continuity. Id just like to see the Sharks keep building on the weaknesses whilst maintaining their strengths. Scrums, Handling and first time tackles are 3 major weak points.

  • Comment 45, posted at 08.10.14 08:58:14 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 41) : What you are talking about is more about how the game has evolved to suit the way it is being watched.
    Nearly all our sport was designed hundred of years ago to be watched by a captive audience live in stadiums,now that stadium is audience is a fraction of the viewership,the rest is on T.V.
    I.P.L.,7′s and Ryder Cup style golf are the products of television,and they had to evolve because they compete with other forms of entertainment available on the same remote control.
    What I find amazing is the continued world viewership dominance of soccer,which is a game that has hardly changed in centuries

  • Comment 46, posted at 08.10.14 10:10:07 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 46) : Valid point…although i disagree about soccer- there is a lot more controversy and play acting by all involved now than there has been in recent past. If the cameras were off i doubt we would see such antics from the likes of Suarez, Ballotelli etc

  • Comment 47, posted at 08.10.14 10:21:19 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 45) : In other words, WP are the clear favourites :twisted:

  • Comment 48, posted at 08.10.14 10:28:02 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 47) : No my point is that they haven’t changed the format of the game, to suit a T.V. audience,made the goals bigger for instance.
    When you look at theU.S.A where games like basketball which sees over100 points scored by each side in a game,these games have massive viewership.
    You can watch a whole soccer game without a goal being scored.

  • Comment 49, posted at 08.10.14 10:29:36 by The hound Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 48) : Well yes , and any bookie that says otherwise probably shouldnt be in the business-unless he has sum WP names on his payroll ;) WP are playing the best brand of rugby at the moment although im not sure they have been tested a lot on defense and have dominated possession in games. Will be interesting to see how they fare if starved of the ball for periods

  • Comment 50, posted at 08.10.14 10:31:20 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @The hound (Comment 49) : Yeh i figured thats what you were getting at. I think it also has to do with soccer having the simplest rules…u cant use ur hands, offside line is easy, and u cant kick a guy…thats pretty much it. Compare that to rugby and cricket rules

  • Comment 51, posted at 08.10.14 10:33:59 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 47) : Doesn’t really do much to improve its entertainment value though, in my opinion at least. I’m sure millions of hooligans would disagree with me.

    Reminds me of a conversation I had with an old boss years ago when I fancied myself an avid F1 fan. He mentioned that no matter how much he tried to watch the ‘sport’, the pre-race commentary would always put him off with comments such as: “the racers *may* be able to over-take here [on this single corner or straight of the track]“. I then came to my senses and realised that I only watched F1 in order to peacefully fall asleep on a Sunday afternoon. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 52, posted at 08.10.14 10:34:55 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 52) : Thank you for spoiling F1 for me :evil: . I thought myself an avid F1 fan until a few moments ago.

    Must say though, F1 naps are the best!

  • Comment 53, posted at 08.10.14 11:02:48 by Die Kriek Reply

    Super Rugby player
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 52) : haha well each sport has its fans for various reasons…F1 vary rarely peaks my interest to be honest. I also struggle to watch a full soccer game without getting bored. I can watch rugby all day all weekend…although i do get frustrated watching refs try enforce rules when the game could just carry on. But thats a whole other topic

  • Comment 54, posted at 08.10.14 11:03:38 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @The hound (Comment 49) : Some high scoring games (especially if lopsided) can be as boring to watch as the worst low scoring games.

    I still prefer a good mix of excellent tries plus the tension of a close game where the lead changes multiple times between two equally matched teams.

  • Comment 55, posted at 08.10.14 11:07:34 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 49) : Speaking of basketball and soccer. I find basket ball one of the most boring sports to watch. Partially because I don’t really understand it but also because of those 100 points each side. I watched it live once and the first few points scored I cheered. The next 100 points I did not.

    I’ve only recently started enjoying soccer as my misses is a big fan and understands the game well. One thing I really appreciate about the sport is how much a goal actually means. Sure you go through games when no goals are scored but the anticipation of one and the sheer joy at scoring one is pretty awesome.

  • Comment 56, posted at 08.10.14 11:09:37 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 55) : Most of us are obsessed purists that’s why we spend such a large per cent age of our lives on rugby sites.
    We are not the target market for the business of rugby we are already converts,and would rather watch B grade rugby than the new series of Game of Thrones.
    The new Rugby audience which the sport needs to thrive and survive aren’t.
    To convert them we need to make the sport more palatable from a television perspective.
    7′s Rugby at the Olympics has more of a chance of achieving it than any other opportunity.

  • Comment 57, posted at 08.10.14 11:15:46 by The hound Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 56) : I agree with you totally on Basket ball,I once had the opportunity to sit 7 rows back,at a Chicago Bulls game with Michael Jordan,Dennis Rhodman and Scotty Pippin on the court.I couldn ‘t work out what all the fuss was about,till I started taking in how the whole thing was being marketed.This is not the place to discuss it ,suffice to say that everything in that arena was geared to the T.V. audience,the arena meant nothing.
    Take it one step up to the Superbowl,where 30 sec commercial costs in excess of a few million dollars,and they have already sold all the spots for next year.

  • Comment 58, posted at 08.10.14 11:27:51 by The hound Reply
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