robdylan

Sharks facing uphill struggle


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 9 Mar 2015 at 09:49
Tagged with : , , , ,

Having suffered a 13-29 loss at Newlands at the weekend, things are suddenly looking rather bleak for the Cell C Sharks and their new Director of Rugby, Gary Gold.

With the team now boasting only a solitary win from four outings, the race for the South African Conference title – which they won so convincingly last year – now appears to be slipping away from the Sharks, while their overall log position isn’t doing a whole lot to suggest they could challenge for the main title either.

Looking back to the 2012 season, in which the Sharks surprised all comers by qualifying for the final despite ending sixth in the regular season, we see some reason for comfort. Just like 2015, that campaign also started poorly, with three losses in the opening five games, including away reversals at Loftus and Newlands. One feels that, for the Sharks to recover strongly enough to push for a reasonable finish this year, though, they really cannot afford to lose again before they go on tour.

Saturday’s showing at Newlands, which promised a fair bit in the opening half before unraveling into chaos later on, doesn’t really give us fans a lot of hope that the recovery is imminent, though and with certain rather fickle sections of the support base already sharpening their pitch forks, one feels that Gold and the Sharks really do need to get it right – and convincingly so – against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this coming weekend.



30 Comments

  • Stand and deliver, its up to them now! I’ve gone from emphatic commentator to watcher, will start adding voice WHEN we turn it around. What I have to say would’ve been identified by men far more qualified than me. Its up to the team now.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.03.15 09:54:16 by Richard Reply
    RichardCurrie Cup player
     
  • I saw some positive glimpses over the weekend, but a lot more worrying issues arose. Conceding 3 tigtheads against any team is inexcusable, against the stormers it’s almost laughable. Hard work awaits the boys this week! Any news on the injury front?

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.03.15 10:04:44 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    DragnipurSuper Rugby player
     
  • Two away losses against what is starting to look like the two front running SA teams is not necessarily a train smash. However not getting loosing bonus points in those games will hurt us in the end.

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.03.15 10:08:07 by Bokhoring Reply
    Administrator
    BokhoringAssistant coach
     
  • Prior to the 2nd half chaos, I thought we looked rather good. There are definitely certain areas we can work on, but I wouldn’t say it all doom and gloom yet. @PTAShark (Comment 2) : Start Lourens, and maybe give Cobus a rest? Stevens didn’t impress at all on Saturday, and Cobus just seem to have a nightmare.

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.03.15 10:08:47 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
     
  • @PTAShark (Comment 2) : Proudfoot has turned that Stormers “light” five into a very strong unit.

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.03.15 10:10:46 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Lets not forget the Cheetahs did dispatch the Sharks only a few weeks ago so it will def not be easy in Bloem. Something has to change…thinking that by trying the same predictable game plan will yield a different result must surely be put to bed now after 3 losses? I mean surely. The players look confused and frustrated, and hence give away stupid penalties etc.
    Forget the ref and just play rugby…if we can still remember how?

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.03.15 10:11:52 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : Yea, I also feel we gave away far too many penalties. We need to sharpen our discipline, defence and work on our scrums. If we can sort those out, we will already perform about 60-70% better.

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.03.15 10:17:31 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
     
  • Uphill struggle… more like up sh!t creek without a paddle right now.

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.03.15 10:19:02 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
    lostfishSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 5) : I expected a nice tough scrum battle, but those tightheads just killed me. Stevens looks off the pace to be honest, and I think the pressure they put on the front row meant that Bismarck couldn’t get his foot up to hook the ball. Sheesh, we really need to tighten up.

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.03.15 10:20:43 by PTAShark Reply
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    DragnipurSuper Rugby player
     
  • @lostfish (Comment 8) : It’s the 5th change of coaching regime and gameplan in 5 campaigns, I think we just need to be a little bit patient, although I admit it’s hard.

    @Another Nick (Comment 7) : The defence seems to have slipped since last year.

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.03.15 10:22:53 by StevieS Reply
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    StevieSSuper Rugby player
     
  • @PTAShark (Comment 9) : That was beyond embarrassing.

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.03.15 10:23:15 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 11) : Is it maybe a technical issue with our scrummaging?

    Maybe Rob can do an article on it? It would be interesting to see what they aim to do to rectify the situation.

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.03.15 10:32:00 by StevieS Reply
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    StevieSSuper Rugby player
     
  • We need Cameron Wright to start at scrumhalf this week. Matt Stevens is not close to good enough. Injury update on Sbura and Paul Jordaan? Who coaches the backline? Plumtree, Jake White and Gold all seems to be forward coaches (not that our forwards looked close to well coached this weekend).

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.03.15 10:38:43 by Bite me Reply

    Bite meVodacom Cup player
     
  • @StevieS (Comment 10) : I know, I probably should have stated I was refering to the short term vision rather than the long term one…

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.03.15 10:41:25 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
    lostfishSuper Rugby player
     
  • @StevieS (Comment 12) : Our scrums without our Boks also struggled during the Currie Cup. My guess is a combination of personnel and technique. We had two strong locks plus an Alberts who should be able to provide enough power behind the front row.

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.03.15 10:52:44 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 10) : Steve if this was a club side with new management then fair enough. But these guys are pros…they have been together since Nov. Its now March. If they werent doing game plan stuff in pre season what were they doing? It def wasnt scrumming. If the new players from Japan didnt kno the game plan then why play them? and what was the excuse when they didnt play the previous weeks. For me its too many excuses from the Sharks and not enough guys standing up and saying we were shite and we got it wrong.

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.03.15 10:57:39 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • Devil’s advocate: what exactly happens if the Sharks can’t turn it around within the next 2 – 3 games? I’m guessing the fans will be really unhappy and will demonstrate this by not watching home games at the stadium? But isn’t that already happening anyway? I’m just wondering how much influence fans have within the period of two to three months or even a year? My gut tells me not as much as we think we do.

    I’m not trying to to tell fans they can’t criticise the team. I’m just wondering how much difference it will ultimately make?

    My personal opinion is that the coaching staff should work on glaring mistakes but stick to the vision they’re working towards.

    My 2c.

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.03.15 11:03:28 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : Agreed

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.03.15 11:05:30 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • Man, that second half was hard to watch!

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.03.15 11:06:09 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    pastorsharkCoach
     
  • Can a put forward a few thoughts to some of the above?
    1. On Saturday we certainly did not play the same game plan as the week before at Loftus. There we had a kicking game plan, here we decidely did not. I happen to think the kicking was the way to go at Loftus and, bar some much discussed reasons, it would have worked. At Newlands we had a mich more ball in hand approach…and in the first half it looked pretty good…
    2. In the second half it just didn’t work…and to be fair I think we also have to say it didn’t work because the Stormers simply outgunned us. Our Forwards were just outplayed – scrums crunched, lineouts a bit shaky, breakdown nowhere…and much credit must go to the Stormers. PSdT was good…but there wasn’t much else from 1-8.
    3. I was very disappointed with our intensity. Seeing JPP basically walking back when Catrikilis put in that kick with the wicked bounce WAS INFURIATING! RUN damn it…
    4. I wish we had invested in Vincent Koch, rather than in our other backup tightheads… :lol:

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.03.15 11:15:34 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 15) : I think you’re right. We need to employ a full 8 man shove.

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.03.15 11:26:26 by StevieS Reply
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    StevieSSuper Rugby player
     
  • Well put, Rob! This time is not easy for the fans. I’m really battling! There doesn’t appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Has anyone else had a problem accessing http://www.sharksrugby.co.za. For a week now I have not been able to access the sharks’ site. It’s very frustrating. All I can say is “Thank goodness for sharksworld! I can get it on my phone but not on my computer. There’s nothing else that I cannot access – of everything else I always go to. @SheldonK
    (Comment 16) : Well said!

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.03.15 11:28:38 by [email protected] Reply

    DenCurrie Cup player
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : I’m also frustrated, but I’m certain the guys will all be taking a long hard look at themselves.

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.03.15 11:29:05 by StevieS Reply
    Author
    StevieSSuper Rugby player
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : Being professional does not make them super-human…these guys are finely tuned physical beings, but the mentality is often where the battle is won and lost.

    We can simply not ignore the fact that there has been major changes at the Sharks over the past 3 years, and we cannot ignore the impact this must have on the psyche of the players.

    I do however not have an issue with fans criticising the Sharks, I do however dislike how, after only 4 games, certain dooms-day prophets are already calling for Gold’s head :shock:

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.03.15 11:33:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 24) : Pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.03.15 11:53:06 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 24) : @vanmartin (Comment 25) : I pretty much agree…

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.03.15 11:56:50 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    pastorsharkCoach
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 24) : Exactly! Well put.

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.03.15 12:00:23 by Another Nick Reply

    Another NickSuper Rugby player
     
  • Best thing is to just write the season off as fans. Give the guys a year to learn and develop.

    And in my case, try not to watch any more Rugby. It’s too damn depressing.

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.03.15 12:18:55 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 24) : Yeh i kno they arent perfect and will make mistakes…it is a game and not science. But i just cant forgive what seems a lack of application of any well thought out game plan. So its 1. either the coach not setting it out to the players or 2. its the players not implementing it. Either way they covering for each other at the moment and to be honest watching Sharks games is actually becoming boring as they play crap rugby with mistakes everywhere. Im not for an instance saing they must run from everywhere- this is not 7s. and im def not saying Gold must be axed…what i am saying is that these guys got themselves in this mess…now show us why we paying u big bucks and get us out of it

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.03.15 12:28:44 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 28) : didcided to do that last week so did not even watched the game. Sharks are now tasting the fruits of having 6 different head coaches in two and a bit years!!!!

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.03.15 16:13:07 by JD Reply
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    JDAssistant coach
     

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