robdylan

Committed to turning it around


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 Mar 2015 at 13:07
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I was fortunate enough to catch up with Sharks Director of Rugby, Gary Gold, for a quick chat earlier today.

As passionate fans, I think it’s very easy for us to get carried away, especially when we’re hurting. A common feeling is that the team and coaches might not “get it” quite the way we do, or understand just how bad we feel when the team doesn’t come up to our (often crazy) expectations. You can take it from me, though, that Gold gets it – he understands the pressure, he understands the expectation and he understands the disappointment. Words can often be meaningless, but I genuinely believe that when Gary Gold says he’s committed to turning this ship around – that he’s having just as many (if not more) sleepless nights than we are mulling through the issues and how to fix them – that he means every one of those things.

“I didn’t expect this,” he says, openly. “In Japan I won 23 out of 25 matches. I’m not used to losing; I don’t like losing and if you told me a month ago that I’d be sitting on a one from four record after the first month I wouldn’t have believed it.” Even the best laid plans, it seems, are sometimes wont to be upset and the Sharks were genuinely shocked at just how badly things went wrong in their opening game against the Cheetahs – the one that started the unfortunate spiral in which the team now finds themselves. The team enjoyed a brilliant pre-season and had the best possible preparation ahead of the game. Sometimes, though, things just don’t quite work out between the four lines and if anything, the flawless build up to that game may in itself have led to just a mite too much confidence by the time the contest kicked off. “Credit to the Cheetahs,” adds Gold, “they really did perform superbly on the day and we need to acknowledge that too.”

One thing that the coach will not do, though, is offer excuses. This was a common theme throughout our discussion; Gold is the man in charge, the man accountable for the results and the man who will stick his hand up (and is doing so) when things don’t go to plan. This problem is one that he owns and is committed to fixing and there are no “sacred cows” as far as he’s concerned. “We’ve looked at the way we train, the way we structure our week, the way we approach things within a game, the game plan, everything,” he confirms. Sometimes the answers don’t all come immediately, but the dogged determination to find them at all costs is the thing we need to acknowledge and respect, in this case.

Another point on which he remains firm – and which I respect – is not finger-pointing or placing the blame on his players in the media. “Obviously they are accountable – we all have to accountable – and we’ll take the steps we need to, behind closed doors, to ensure that.” Let’s face it, the players pick up enough flack on social media from the fickle keyboard warrior “fan” corps that the last thing they need is the coaches to do the same and in a lot of cases the information on which fans act isn’t correct in the first place.

“Our scrum didn’t come up to scratch on the weekend,” Gold readily concedes, “but to try and pin that all one one player is obviously ridiculous. That aside, Jannie was rested last week and was always going to come back in for this week’s game; even if Matt Stevens had been man of the match at Newlands and scored 50 points, that wouldn’t have changed our rotation plans.”

Gold also confirmed that maintaining on-field discipline is a key expectation that he places on his players and is one of a number of areas that has enjoyed focus this week; defence, of course, is another.

Good luck Sharks, and good luck Gary. We’re in good hands and we all look forward to a big performance this weekend.



73 Comments

  • Yes the some times ‘fickle’ key board warriors don’t always know everything, but a fair amount of us has actually scrummed before and can identify when a prop is getting his ass handed to him. :evil:

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.03.15 13:14:39 by KingRiaan Reply
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  • So he is admitting (in between the lines of course) that Stevens was the main reason our scrum did so badly.

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.03.15 13:19:47 by Ben Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 1) : Via his esophagus

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.03.15 13:23:12 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 3) : :lol:

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.03.15 13:30:14 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • Stevens was MOTM at Newlands… for the Stormers…

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.03.15 13:36:11 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • And everyone immediately goes to finger pointing…

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.03.15 13:40:34 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 2) : no, I’m nt sure how you get that.

    Gary is not saying he blames Matt, only that it’s clear from the vitriol he’s been exposed to that everyone else is blaming Matt.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.03.15 13:43:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 6) : yeah, it’s amazing, isn’t it? Read the story, ignore 90% of it and rather pick on the one thing that allows you to get personal.

    As a species, we suck.

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.03.15 13:45:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Rob, sometimes we just want a coach to come out and say what is wrong straight up. I don’t know about you and all the other readers on this page, but I’m really getting fed up with all the normal cliches for answers. Just for ones I want a coach to say, yes player so-and-so was shite this weekend, but we will work on his technique/stamina/confidence etc, rather than the normal, we were poor as a team, or the scrum just did not work out etc. Yes we are easy to look for blame and to point fingers, but sometimes you have to single out a player and make him accountable for what he does on the field.

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.03.15 13:53:01 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    Yup, agreed. Easy to blame the Ingelsman.

    Simple fact is i havent seen Matt in such good shape for years…
    And the other conveniently ignored fact is that scrumming is a team sport…

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.03.15 13:54:02 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 9) : and what does it do to the coach’s relationship with that player when he’s gone and said that in the media?

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.03.15 13:55:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hard to tell from an interview what the guy is really thinking…i mean its not like he going to say gosh these guys are so shite that ive already got my cv out looking. Adn well at the moment it is his job to find out and fix wats wrong even if it takes making the big balls call to leave out a seasoned Bok or two that arent gelling in the team. Has Gold got the balls to leave out a big name player and thrown in a hungry youngster…to be honest i think not. Time will tell

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.03.15 13:55:30 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 10) : still fighting the Boer War, mate. Anyone who’s played for England is fair game.

    Wonder what will happen after the first poor game Mo Botha has….

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.03.15 13:56:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • Well it’s clear they know what people are saying and they do know whats wrong and needs fixing – imo. Lets hope we get it all fixed by Saturday so they can right all the wrongs of previous games ;-) #inGaryGoldWeTrust :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.03.15 13:58:57 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • I liked this interview. I don’t know much about Gary, but from what I have seen/read, he seems the type of coach that will fight teeth and knuckles for his players. I never had that feeling with Jake. I like this.

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.03.15 13:59:05 by Another Nick Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : These are big boys, I agree that players differ from player to player, some might need a soft word in private and other might need to be called out in public. There is a time and place for everything, but geez

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.03.15 14:00:49 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • - Matt got crunched by the ginger Ninja putting serious pressure on his hooker
    - We had the power of PSDT, Giant and Alberts in our scrums. It looked more to me than the front row unable to handle the pressure than a lack of power from the back.
    - However he did not select himself, and most likely never expected to play Super 15. It seems to me that the arrangement was more to provide some cover in the Currie Cup.

    So the real question is (as asked yesterday) why did we let most of our young backup tightheads to leave.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.03.15 14:04:30 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • I might well be completely in the wrong, and if so I do apologize, I just really think that these modern premadonnas need to get a wake up call somehow. And as a die-hard fan it frustrates me so much to see the team I love under performing so badly. Sometimes you just wish you could grab the player or coach and shake some sense into them.

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.03.15 14:04:45 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • Awesome interview Rob. I really appreciate how approachable and affable Gary Gold is. And even though he is currently in this situation, I back him, and it would be ridiculous to suggest that he is to blame for this. I believe in Gary Gold, I believe in the squad – he is with us for 3 years, and personally I am ecstatic for this! A lot to get right and even if this season goes belly up, I am sure the boys are due a big performance soon. Hope we smoke the Cheetahs, as we are a sleeping giant and shame on the team that feels our wrath.

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.03.15 14:07:00 by Richard Reply

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  • I would like to hear Gary’s opinion on our problems exiting our 22 after kickoffs. To me that has consistently been our biggest problem (after set pieces). We more often than not allow the opposition to camp in our 22 just after we scored – usually resulting in points on the board for them.

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.03.15 14:08:46 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 18) :

    From your lips to God’s ears my man.

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.03.15 14:09:39 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 17) :

    We’ll see what it looks like when he is replaced.

    Scrums dont collapse like that onyl because you have a weak prop.

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.03.15 14:10:23 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 22) : We also need to compliment Proudfoot. He has turned the Stormers scrum into a very powerful unit.

    I think even Jannie would also have struggled, but I still think we would have fared a little better overall.

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.03.15 14:15:15 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Kak man. :grin: If Stevens wasn’t so rubbish we would be giving him credit where it’s due. Has nothing to do with him being an ex-England player.

    As far as I can remember not even Skullet got anywhere near as much flack on here compared to Afrikaans players like Reinach, Marais, etc.

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.03.15 14:17:30 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • Stevens is a penalty machine. THAT is my beef with him.

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.03.15 14:18:19 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Teams win (more often than not) because they have great systems that everyone understands, execute and trust.

    Individual talent (or lack thereof) only wins or loses you games if you have no systems or broken ones.

    I have read quite a bit on the ‘differences’ between the Sharks and Stormers over the last few days and the possible reasons the Stormers beat a Springbok laden Sharks side.

    For me the answer is very simple;

    The Stormers have systems in place (attack, defence, scrum, line-out, kick offs, etc) that they know, trust and therefore execute well.

    The Sharks systems are a bit broken at the moment which is why you rely so much on individual talent at this point (and why the less talented stick out like a sore thumb).

    What Gary and his team need to figure out is where the system is broken – because talented individuals will never beat a team with good systems.

    Is it because they don’t understand it? Trust it? Correctly Execute it?

    Understanding and trusting is the job of the coaches and senior players to fix it, and this takes time fellas – if it is execution, you may not have the right players to do the jobs required in said system but that is seldom the case at this level.

    Pinpointing individuals as the ’cause’ is a cop-out, which is why no coach worth his salt will do it. Unless you are Nick Mallet and Gaffie of course…

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.03.15 14:19:42 by Morné Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 20) : Why the hell Reinach does the exit kicking is beyond me. We have Lambie, SP and now Steyn there.

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.03.15 14:20:31 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 24) : might have got a bit carried away there… :)

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.03.15 14:22:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 27) : We need to slow play down in our 22. The players seem a little bit frantic at times.

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.03.15 14:26:10 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 29) : yes, I think you’re right. There’s a little too much panic and nowhere near enough trust.

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.03.15 14:27:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : :grin:

  • Comment 31, posted at 12.03.15 14:32:45 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 29) : Yes, and I think we overdo the pod thing with the forwards in our 22. Why is that even necessary?

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.03.15 14:34:54 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 10) : @robdylan (Comment 13) : Ha, ha, you “Englishmen” have got some serious wood on your shoulders. :twisted:

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.03.15 14:35:03 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I think the thing that irritated me the most of saterday’s game was how that hobbit will whine everytime Steyn touched him (apart from the last one) Plus can side step a player that is less than a meter in front of him but for some reason he runs straight into a jumping Steyn :twisted:

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.03.15 14:35:57 by KingRiaan Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : The best thing the coaching staff can do for the players, is to get them just to stay calm and stop panicking. How you do that I have no idea.

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.03.15 14:36:28 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 34) : Clover will probably offer him a job soon.

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.03.15 14:37:59 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 23) : I think that has more to do with Gert Smal than Proudfoot. Proudfoot has been around for a good couple of years already and its only now that a noticeable difference in their scrumming is being seen.

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.03.15 14:38:34 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 26) : Ja well Nick mallet is a real box <—-(insert colourful afrikaans sinonym for boks here) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.03.15 14:38:58 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 35) : That’s what happens when you have a captain who is easily intimidated by experienced opponents and prone to hissy fits. Keeping players calm should be his job, which he obviously isn’t managing. We said this last year already.

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.03.15 14:40:24 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 26) : What a lot of crap – the main, no, only reason the Stormers won was because you backed the Sharks on here.

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.03.15 14:41:54 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 40) :

    And then there is that of course…

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.03.15 14:43:44 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 41) : Ice was miffed with you after the game.

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.03.15 14:45:37 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • So how do we fix this? I don’t know if I’m hearing anything on this from the interview, or am I just missing something?

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.03.15 14:50:01 by stevovo Reply
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  • How did this guy win 23 out of 25 in Japan and still arrive three weeks before Frans and J.P who were knocked out in the semi finals???
    Also why did he take so long to sub Stevens when it was so apparent to all us poisoned up keyboard operators ,hell do you need to lose three tightheads to know you are in trouble.
    It was not the loss that mattered but the loss of face.Any team can take being beaten,but the manner we were beaten is going to take a lot of recovery.

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.03.15 14:54:37 by The hound Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 26) : have you read Brendan Venters column?

  • Comment 45, posted at 12.03.15 14:56:15 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : yeah I give up for today. its like trying to convince a bunch of piranhas to not eat the juicy chunk of meat in the water.

  • Comment 46, posted at 12.03.15 15:00:17 by gregkaos Reply
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  • At this point is all just meaningless gesturing Gary. Like a south african politician. Show us you have turned it around.

  • Comment 47, posted at 12.03.15 15:02:09 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 44) : The games Frans and JP played were additional to the normal season. Some weird structure they have in those leagues.

  • Comment 48, posted at 12.03.15 15:03:35 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @gregkaos (Comment 45) : on what site?

  • Comment 49, posted at 12.03.15 15:04:28 by stevovo Reply
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  • @stevovo (Comment 49) : He has a column on Super Sport

  • Comment 50, posted at 12.03.15 15:06:13 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @stevovo (Comment 43) : it’s not our job to fix it; it’s Gary’s. That’s the point.

  • Comment 51, posted at 12.03.15 15:06:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 47) : there isn’t a game scheduled for today, so he doesn’t have much option but to talk today. I’m really pleased that he thought talking to me (and all of you by extension) was a worthwhile use of his time. Sorry you clearly don’t agree, but you can’t please everyone.

  • Comment 52, posted at 12.03.15 15:07:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 52) : Is this going to become a regular feature – a weekly chat to GG?

  • Comment 53, posted at 12.03.15 15:19:39 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 45) :

    No, link?

  • Comment 54, posted at 12.03.15 15:23:18 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 54) : Here you go.
    http://mobi.supersport.com/rugby/blogs/brendan-venter/Why_the_Stormers_are_working

  • Comment 55, posted at 12.03.15 15:28:54 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 53) : he said “keep in touch”, but I don’t think we’ll manage a weekly slot. Maybe once a fortnight? I will ask.

  • Comment 56, posted at 12.03.15 15:34:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 56) : Every 2 weeks would be good.

  • Comment 57, posted at 12.03.15 15:40:57 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 51) : Agreed, but I don’t really hear how he’s going to fix it either.

    Do appreciate that he took time to have an interview with you though, and the more open and honest he is with the general rugby public the more he will dispel rumours and assumptions!

  • Comment 58, posted at 12.03.15 15:47:40 by stevovo Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 55) :

    Very much echoe’s what I believe to be the problem too and discussed with Rob off-line.

    On paper not many teams will beat the Sharks, but then again this is not X-Box rugby – as a unit they are really not in a good place and that starts by going back to absolute basics and getting that done right first.

  • Comment 59, posted at 12.03.15 15:48:00 by Morné Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 56) : @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 57) : Excellent!

  • Comment 60, posted at 12.03.15 15:48:05 by Another Nick Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 26) : From what you’re saying, the Sharks will need some time yet.

    Gary and Brendan know each other
    but,
    Gary has never worked with:
    BMH, Everit and Rob’s school coach (Paul, I think) who sort-of know each other
    but,
    none of the above have ever worked with:
    New defense coach (Horak, I think)

    Add to that all the new players from all over the world, and we’re trying to shake a bottle full of nuts & bolts, hoping for a rocket to miraculously appear.

  • Comment 61, posted at 12.03.15 16:06:18 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 61) :

    There is no perfect science in this sort of thing. What you are the coaching team need to figure out is what the best way is to adopt your blueprint and style within the team environment with the least amount of risk.

    Sometimes you reckon the players are pro’s and you change 10 things because they will adapt immediately only to realise ‘oh shit, they are not adopting as quickly as we hoped, let’s cut back and only introduce these 3 things over the next 2 months and then move to the next 3′.

    So that is the ‘learning as you go along’ part.

    When you dump too much on a player or group, they sometimes neglect the basics in order to achieve the goals set for them – it really is a balancing act and Sharks just need to find the right balance right now.

    That is why Brendan also says, do the basic things 100% first, then it is easy to introduce one or two new things.

  • Comment 62, posted at 12.03.15 16:25:38 by Morné Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : “Our scrum didn’t come up to scratch on the weekend,” Gold readily concedes, “but to try and pin that all one one player is obviously ridiculous.”

    He said this and in the next sentence he talks about Stevens. Why not just stick with the first part then? Why does Gary find the need to point out that everyone was blaming Stevens?

  • Comment 63, posted at 12.03.15 16:26:47 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 63) : he didn’t point it out. I specifically asked the question.

  • Comment 64, posted at 12.03.15 16:29:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 64) : Okay, I didn’t know that. ;)

  • Comment 65, posted at 12.03.15 16:30:38 by Ben Reply
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  • Thanks for the interview Rob, I appreciate Gary reaching out to a sometimes overly-passionate fanbase. I’ve made peace with the idea that we need to give the team some time so the only burning question I’d love to get an answer from Gary on is whether he considers Sbu a 13 or will he only pick him at wing?

  • Comment 66, posted at 12.03.15 17:21:31 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 66) : Check out this Pom U15 outside centre. Not the best opposition it seems, but he has pace to burn – like Sbura:

    http://www.sarugbymag.co.za/blog/details/u15-centre-scores-four-tries

  • Comment 67, posted at 12.03.15 17:43:22 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 67) : Wonder if he will learn to pass before he’s 18? :roll: :grin:

  • Comment 68, posted at 12.03.15 18:38:58 by Ben Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 1) : @Ben (Comment 2) : think he’s getting shorter every game, by the end of the season he will be a pygmy!!!!!!

  • Comment 69, posted at 12.03.15 19:08:31 by JD Reply
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  • Guys wanted their friends to coach them. Tackles are missed, passes are not accurate, catches are dropped, kicks expect from Lambie are not accurate, discipline is shite, chases are soft…etc. Whatever – these guys wanted to be able to dish out shite on the field and not have to take any accountability for it. This under Mitchel or Jake would not be tolerated. I’m still very upset.

  • Comment 70, posted at 12.03.15 20:52:04 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 68) : It’s not looking good! :grin:

  • Comment 71, posted at 12.03.15 21:43:46 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 67) : Id love to see him try that vs the Grey College, Monument, Glenwood u15s etc

  • Comment 72, posted at 13.03.15 08:18:36 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 72) : Jip, the opposition he played against in the video did seem a little naff.

  • Comment 73, posted at 13.03.15 10:27:34 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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