robdylan

Mixed Monday emotions


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 13 Apr 2015 at 09:57
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Looking at some of the comments after Saturday’s match against the Lions, I think it’s fair to say that the Sharks support base in a house divided, with fans falling into one of two very distinct camps.

There are those willing to praise a spirited efforts in Johannesburg that didn’t appear to lack for heart (despite lacking quite clearly in several other areas, defence foremost). Others are perhaps less forgiving, pointing out (rightly) that despite all the “effort” the Sharks still lost the game and talk aside, are in no better a position than they were after the Crusaders debacle of the week before. In fact, having now lost more matches than they’ve won, the Super Rugby race appears to be slipping away from them.

I wonder if I’m completely unique in finding myself with a foot in either camp? I was certainly most impressed with what I saw of the Sharks on attack, when they backed themselves with ball in hand in Joburg. After a nervy start, which saw the Lions make ground at will, the visitors settled nicely and began to dominate the areas that mattered. Passes seemed to stick, players seemed to play with pace and determination, the tries flowed and all was suddenly right with the world – right, that was, until the lead started to look even a little comfortable.

Three Lions tries in sevens minutes undid every bit of that hard work, though. All of the commitment, passion, attitude and other abstract nouns for which we pleaded so passionately last week then went into simply trying to stay in touch and limit the damage. Again, the optimists will look at the resilience and fighting spirit needed to come back from that 23-14 deficit and be in with a chance of winning, but surely it’s also fair to seriously question how that situation was allowed to unfold in the first place?

After the Crusaders hammering, it seems to me that a lot of people may have very quickly readjusted their expectations of the team and the the season. For those who immediately went into “rebuilding and pride” mode, Saturday’s performance was just the tonic and provided a glimpse of what the Sharks’ future could hold. For others, who have a completely legitimate expectation that a team with more Boks than any other (and a team that walked the SA conference last year) should win regularly, failure to beat a Lions team that has never been able to live with the Sharks in Super Rugby in the past was just another indictment on just how far this once-mighty team has fallen.

I can’t decide which group of fans has the more compelling argument.



78 Comments

  • I am in the “rather stop watching rugby than look for positives out of a loss to the Lions” camp

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.04.15 10:01:44 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 1) : yes, I got that :)

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.04.15 10:03:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • I definitely have a foot in each camp but that may be due to having made peace with the fact that we’re in a rebuilding phase back in February already.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.04.15 10:06:29 by vanmartin Reply
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  • It was a tough loss but I have to say seeing odwa at fullback made me realise how shit sp is as attacking. Odwa looked dangerous everytime he got the ball

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.04.15 10:09:05 by Poisy Reply
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  • How often do we beat the Lions up in Jo’burg in SR?

    To me the Sharks proved that there is an exciting foundation to work with, save for a few passes too far in front of the player (specifically the passes from Reinach to Bothma on two occasions), and pathetic defense in open play.

    This season should realistically never have been seen as one to win the competition, but rather one where the team needs to focus on restructuring, and one where the team has to become a team: by slowly ridding themselves of all the individuals not willing to play a team sport.

    I don’t want what we had last year – it made for rubbish entertainment.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.04.15 10:16:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • The facts are, Sharks were missing no less than 11 first choice players through either injury or suspension. They will struggle until they get some of those guys back. For me the biggest losses have been PS du toit, Bismarck and Pat Lambie. Hopefully his time off is the wake up call Bismarck needed and he’ll return the player we know he is and not the player who snaps when the opposition bait him because of his short fuse.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.04.15 10:17:48 by The Quirk Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 5) : Against the Lions in Jozi, played 11, won 6, lost 3, drawn 2

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.04.15 10:18:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : …and those stats were against a far inferior Lions team than the one on display this year.

    Respect where it is due, the Lions have a very strong TEAM this year…many a team will fall short in Jo’burg this year.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.04.15 10:21:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • I agree I have 1 foot in each camp. ..but there are some things that surprised and some that didn’t…I have wanted Sbu back at 13 for awhile…but he missed tons of tackles. ..Mat Stevens is still kak…Fred just needs a bit of time and those kicks wouldve been over … Giant is good value…Marcel doing a ton of work as was Renaldo….Mouritz is hot n cold…not sure yet….Odwa was looking good…Reinach was very good…Thomas was also a welcomed impact…

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.04.15 10:24:30 by Sharkfinn Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 8) : we do need to acknowledge that the opposition is getting far better and that the margins in Super Rugby are slight.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.04.15 10:24:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Rob, apologies for the derail (and if I’m preempting an article here) but do we have any news on Marcell Coetzee’s hand? He looked to be in a spot of pain on Saturday.

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.04.15 10:25:11 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Any idea as to when gold will drop murray and play sithole. Murray is so out of depth.

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.04.15 10:27:02 by Dunx Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 8) : I’m am really enjoying watching the Lions play this year. I’m hoping their form is acknowledged come Bok selections. Ackers is doing a superb job as head coach.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.04.15 10:27:30 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 11) : I think it’s bad.

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.04.15 10:27:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : @vanmartin (Comment 11) : At this rate, SARU might ask for an extended rest for him too…(seems to be the practice regarding injuries to Springbok players)

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.04.15 10:31:10 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : I don’t know how to respond to that :sad:

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.04.15 10:32:22 by vanmartin Reply
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  • What was the story with the lazer being shone in the kickers eyes.
    I clearly heard Berry saying to the support staff on the field,not sure if it was Sharks or Lions,” that he knew it was happening,but what did they expect him to do about it.”
    tAnyone who is capable of doing that is the lowest class of scum.
    Funny nothing came out about it.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.04.15 10:37:19 by The hound Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 16) : ja, sorry man. I don’t have much info for you. Am digging.

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.04.15 10:40:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 17) : Happened at Loftus too when the Sharks were playing there a few years back. I just hope it’s not the sort of thing that’s on the rise as it’s probably almost impossible to police.

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.04.15 10:41:49 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Not referring to the vagueness of the statement. I don’t know how to respond to the possibility of losing Marcell Coetzee to injury too. I considered swearing but I’m rubbish at it.

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.04.15 10:44:29 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 17) : Surely the security can do the same thing they do when something lights up a cigarette?!

    And surely the ref can communicate this to his assistant referees, who can surely get hold of security on the side of the field, who will then be able to escalate it…basic stuff if you ask me.

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.04.15 10:44:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 21) : I’ve seen plenty of people lighting up at both Ellis Park and Loftus in the stands (one of the reasons I’m loathe to take my family). Have you actually seen security do something about people smoking because I would honestly find that surprising.

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.04.15 10:47:50 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 21) : hiding a lit cigarette is a LOT more difficult than hiding a lazer pointer.

    You will NEVER find a guy using one of those. The only way to stamp it out is to strip search everyone on their way into the stadium.

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.04.15 10:48:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : I think it could be quite easily done,turn the touch line cameras onto the crowd facing the kicker, for the kick,and forensics should be pretty simple.

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.04.15 10:48:40 by The hound Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 22) : Saw it in the final at Kings Park (2008 I think)…maybe they’re more lenient during the league phases…although I’m sure they’d quickly find you if you had a drink at Loftus.

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.04.15 10:50:44 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : Do I hear cries for an X-Ray scanner at all rugby stadiums :twisted:

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.04.15 10:52:00 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • Im sort of with you Rob but on a different thinking level. I think the team that played against the Lions perhaps took a step forward- altho the Lions werent at their best and are prob a lot weaker than a Crusaders side. The ‘good’ attack was just simply passing the ball and running straight- nothing magical or well planned moves. Just straight running and passes in front. The sad thing is that we could only do that twice before reverting to the boring 1 off bash runners and going to ground. Then our defense…i think schoolboys used to get caned for tackling like that. No hard low hits taking the ball carrier back. As for Esterhuizen- his temperament will see him get many more yellows. That was a cheap shot and unacceptable. So the good points- when we run straight and pass we can look decent. However, when we send our 1 off runners and tackle like that we looked pretty shite. We need more ball players in the loose trio- hence id play DuPreez. We need more dominance at 10- id play Cronje. Our props need help- id play either Alberts or Mtyanda. And slip either Mvovo to 15 or bring back SP.

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.04.15 10:54:47 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : Regarding the straight running…for Mvovo’s try, most of our backline players were running sideways until the ball got to Mvovo…straight running is not the be-all and end-all of backline play.

    I say that mostly because of Mallet’s incessant whinging about “running Straight”…there are times where that will just get you tackled.

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.04.15 11:01:47 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 24) : CSI SARU sounds a lot more entertaining than some of the rugby been dished up of late :grin:

    @FireTheLooser (Comment 25) : Could just be down to different stadiums being more or less lenient then.

  • Comment 29, posted at 13.04.15 11:08:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : I was amazed you aren’t calling for Alberts to be red carded for his hit on Richards.
    Not that there was anything wrong with it ,but hey it was a Shark putting in a big hit.
    Esterhuizen played really well,there was nothing wrong with his hit,he was committed,and couldn’t pull out,as he hit the guy he fell over and slid under Esterhuizen thus the high hit.You never want to coach that kind of commitment out of a player.He has the same temperament at as Nonu,Frank Bunce,Pieter Muller,Jaapie Mulder.
    And then to round it off you missed S.P ,sheeeet Odwa was my man of the match,and he has whats been missing at 15 the whole year,balls.
    I hope the coaches don’t fuck too much with this team.

  • Comment 30, posted at 13.04.15 11:09:53 by The hound Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 29) : Couple of years ago 15,20,two guys fired a rifle from Ponte flats into Ellis Park,and killed a random guy in the stands
    Police were able to establish the trajectory to its source and successfully apprehended the murderers.
    It can be done.

  • Comment 31, posted at 13.04.15 11:15:14 by The hound Reply
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  • I am happy to say that the Sharks definitely made some improvements. We had a slump there in the middle, which I suppose based on the fact that I believe we have a long way to go, should be expected, but I still feel there was enough there for us to build on an deliver even better performances in coming weeks.

  • Comment 32, posted at 13.04.15 11:23:34 by Letgo Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : They only have to make an example of one guy…fine him R200 000, ban him for life…and it will never happen again.

  • Comment 33, posted at 13.04.15 11:24:04 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Poisy (Comment 4) : aree 100%

  • Comment 34, posted at 13.04.15 11:27:44 by DaveB Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : I’ve never come across that story before. Very unfortunate but fascinating nonetheless!

  • Comment 35, posted at 13.04.15 11:33:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Hi all. Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the game! I had a wedding to perform somewhere where there was no TV and no cell phone reception! I will comment once I’ve watched the game…or at least the highlights…

  • Comment 36, posted at 13.04.15 11:38:10 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 16) : hope its not too bad! but didn’t look too good..

    A hand-brake is about 6 weeks right?

  • Comment 37, posted at 13.04.15 11:40:44 by SharksRTB Reply

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  • @Poisy (Comment 4) : I have to agree,all those saying he is past it ,well he may not be flash but then with Odwa you don’t have nonsense either ,he is just rock damn solid,what more do you want in SR from a player

  • Comment 38, posted at 13.04.15 11:41:33 by benji Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 30) : Geez i do value your opinion but if you think Esterhiuizen’s hit was fair and legal i dont think i can take you seriously…the ball was long gone before he got close to the player. You can even see his eyes watching the pass and then he clatters him and high. But as a Sharks supporter lets all get on the Duplessis school of thought that everything we do is right and everyone else is wrong. Nothing wrong with Alberts and Richards collision.

  • Comment 39, posted at 13.04.15 11:42:11 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Great article but the fact that you wrote this article alone shows where the Sharks are at

  • Comment 40, posted at 13.04.15 11:43:25 by benji Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 28) : Straight running doesnt mean running into the defense, yes the backline was drifting but each players straightened up and thereby fixed his defender before making the pass, hence space was created for Mvovo. In SA we are so obsessed with making contact that we think straight running means running a straight crashball. Same as we think attacking rugby means playing a 7s type. Most players in SA cant pass both ways over 5m..and thats just the pros

  • Comment 41, posted at 13.04.15 11:44:37 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 17) : Im sure I saw a few red bars of light across Zelingas face while taking that last kick. Arent lasers pinpoint type of rays, these were three or four bars about the width of his face.

  • Comment 42, posted at 13.04.15 11:47:55 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : I remember that, I dont think the guy died though.

  • Comment 43, posted at 13.04.15 11:48:32 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I have no hope left for this season and if Horak stays around I won’t have any hope for next year either.

  • Comment 44, posted at 13.04.15 11:50:05 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 41) : From the way Mallet puts it, straight running is supposed to miraculously always create a gap to run through…

    He over simplifies the process of drawing defenders and creating the gap and/or overlap.

  • Comment 45, posted at 13.04.15 11:51:22 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 35) : it did indeed happen but many years ago

  • Comment 46, posted at 13.04.15 11:51:25 by benji Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 39) : All I said was that the boy was totally committed he went for the hit,somedays it works some days it doesn’t.Most days that is not a yellow card offence.
    Berry didn’t see it neither did anyone else except the linesman,until it was played over and over in slo mo.
    If we carry on like this our guys are going to be too scared to put in a hit.

  • Comment 47, posted at 13.04.15 11:52:25 by The hound Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 43) : Yes he did.
    Lazers come in all shapes and forms.

  • Comment 48, posted at 13.04.15 11:54:14 by The hound Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 45) : no he doesn’t that is the way the game should be played,attack the gain line not run next to it

  • Comment 49, posted at 13.04.15 11:56:27 by benji Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 42) : There are attachments you can screw onto a laser to disperse the light into all sorts of shapes (including lines and grids).

    @benji (Comment 46) : Sometime in the 90′s according to Google.

  • Comment 50, posted at 13.04.15 11:56:43 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 45) : Willem Alberts ran straight and opened a huge gap down the wing.

  • Comment 51, posted at 13.04.15 11:58:24 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • All I do hope for is commitment to perform well and no more cards. Clean passionate rugby.

  • Comment 52, posted at 13.04.15 11:58:25 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Time to see what we paid for. Wilson needs to get a full game and at some point so does Cronje. We don’t mind pushing in Matt Stevens with his big beer gut and lumbering carcass but we will not test the young guys? This season is slipping beyond salvation, we may as well use it to get some of the younger guys sharpened. Ungerer needs time as well. We really need an alternative to Reinach who still thinks he some re-incarnation of Fourie du Preez and is killing us with his kicking. Fred I’m not worried about once he settles he will do better besides Jantjies kicking record was worse than his. Murray must go! He is even more afraid to tackle than Tim Swiel (if such a thing is possible) We CANNOT have him at center on Saturday I shudder to think what Serfontein will do to him. Sithole for 13! Franco stepped up nicely and deserves another run. Giant and Wentzel to start, i’m sorry but Botha just not better than giant and his workrate not even close. Alberts stay put at 7 with Marcell on openside. Bothma on at 8 again. Kanko can cover from the bench for flank or 8. Odwa in my opinion did a good job at 15 but I would still rather back SP or Cronje for FB and move him back to wing if not then get wilson on at wing and let Odwa play from bench to cover wing and FB.

  • Comment 53, posted at 13.04.15 12:07:47 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 50) : Thanks.

    Did the guy die? I thought he got wounded in the shoulder or so.

  • Comment 54, posted at 13.04.15 12:08:02 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 54) : I came across mentions of the same story on two other forums but there was no mention on whether it resulted in the person’s death or not.

  • Comment 55, posted at 13.04.15 12:12:26 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 47) : HE copped the yellow because it was high, if the hit was slower would have just been a penalty. He knew full well what he was doing though and had ample chance not to swing his arm around. I have zero problem with big hits etc…but play within the laws. If you gonna take a cheap shot then dont whinge when you get the same treatment back. He was late getting to the tackle so if he had just pushed the lions player then prob nothing would have come of it.

  • Comment 56, posted at 13.04.15 12:13:36 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 45) : Yeh look lets remember Mallet was an 8th man so the art of creating space etc is simplified for him. Straight running doesnt create gaps, what it does do is make sure space is available on the outside sot hat if passing is good the wing has some room to work with. Gaps are created by dummy runners at different depths thus pulling defenders out of line. That probably sounds a lot more complicated than it is. Im not saying that scoring tries is easy but if you doing the right stuff consistently then you will more than likely score

  • Comment 57, posted at 13.04.15 12:16:31 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Boy it must be tough to be Gary Gold. That said I’m bummed and have been for a while about the quality of Sharks rugby; the last month was bad and a tough tour coming up; another bad month. Yikes

  • Comment 58, posted at 13.04.15 12:19:24 by SeanJeff Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 55) : Interesting story, I’d never heard about it before.

  • Comment 59, posted at 13.04.15 12:19:53 by StevieS Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 50) : thanks

  • Comment 60, posted at 13.04.15 12:36:58 by benji Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 45) : The point Mallett is emphasising is that it is the straight running player/players (ball in hand or support runners) that stop the defenders and create the space either side of him.

  • Comment 61, posted at 13.04.15 12:37:27 by pienaar111 Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 13) : im not sure HM has the ability to acknowledge the Lions

  • Comment 62, posted at 13.04.15 12:57:20 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 33) :

    In somewhat relating news i saw Piet Van Zyl was at the Lions bulls game

  • Comment 63, posted at 13.04.15 13:06:33 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 63) : THE Piet van Zyl? How is that possible?

  • Comment 64, posted at 13.04.15 13:23:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 64) : Jip . Had a look at the photos and it looks like him . you can check it out on my Facebook . was with the Bulls game .

  • Comment 65, posted at 13.04.15 13:30:02 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I loved our attack on Saturday and our set pieces looked a lot better, especially the scrums. Our defence is absolutely a mess at the moment, and our centers seems to really not gel. Why we spent money on Murray only the coaches would know. He’s slow and he’s nowhere on attack. Not sure what that defensive coach is doing in Dbn, he might be surfing a bit much. He’s certainly not working on our defence!

  • Comment 66, posted at 13.04.15 13:30:03 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 8) : On what do you base your statement that the Lions have a very strong team?

    They lost to all the leading sides (except the Bulls) they played against and narrowly beat the Blues, Rebels and Reds who are respectively 13th, 11th and 15th on the log.

    They may be a very strong team compared to the Sharks, but that says more about the Sharks than the Lions.

  • Comment 67, posted at 13.04.15 13:49:50 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 67) : to be fair we also beat the 9th placed sharks …

    But the Lions of old would have lost all those games and you guys whould have been sitting here whining about how the lions cant beat an over seas team to assist you guys . now that we take those log points from those teams you guys are nowhere to launch a decent challenge to the trophy ?

  • Comment 68, posted at 13.04.15 13:54:25 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 68) : ROTFLMAO

  • Comment 69, posted at 13.04.15 13:56:36 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 65) : Seems he was at the Sharks game as well, operating the laser.

  • Comment 70, posted at 13.04.15 14:27:33 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 70) : i think it it was him he would have laser-ed the ref in stead of the players . On this topic im hearing to both jantjies and fred had lasers to the eyes ?

  • Comment 71, posted at 13.04.15 14:31:01 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 71) : Seems so. Very pathetic by whoever did that. No place for it in rugby.

  • Comment 72, posted at 13.04.15 15:04:31 by StevieS Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 67) : No no, I didn’t say “a very strong team”

    I said they have a much stronger team than in previous years.

  • Comment 73, posted at 13.04.15 15:09:07 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 71) : I only saw it to Zelinga, but heard the earlier comments from the ref about it, when I think it was Lions support staff that came onto the field at an injury break and told him about it.

  • Comment 74, posted at 13.04.15 16:10:44 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @Zibbie (Comment 71) : @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 74) : It was SP Marais. :twisted:

  • Comment 75, posted at 14.04.15 01:44:04 by Ben Reply
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    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @Zibbie (Comment 63) : :?:

  • Comment 76, posted at 14.04.15 01:59:40 by Ben Reply
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    BenAssistant coach
     
  • :lol:

  • Comment 77, posted at 14.04.15 09:05:50 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 75) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 78, posted at 14.04.15 09:09:30 by vanmartin Reply
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