robdylan

Was this the same team?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 6 Mar 2017 at 13:49
Tagged with : , , ,

I think it was pretty clear, even from the first kick-off, that the Sharks were determined to play a little differently against the Brumbies than they had against the Reds. In Brisbane last week, every kick-off once received went pretty much straight on to the boot of Cobus Reinach. Much was my surprise to see the opening play from the Sharks in Canberra move all the way across the field and back, encompassing around 12 passes before eventually breaking down.

Looking at some statistics from the match, we can see pretty clearly just how differently the Sharks approached this game. They were criticised for not keeping the ball much against the Reds and the statistic of just 80 passes, 78 carries and four offloads is a pretty clear indication that our eyes did not deceive us. The Sharks had precious little possession in that game (34%) and appeared to do everything in their power to make sure they didn’t have to spend much time with the ball – whether intentionally or not.

Fast forward to Saturday and the difference is simply breathtaking: the Sharks virtually doubled each number in Canberra, with 165 passes, 132 carriers and 9 offloads. Unsurprisingly, total possession share went up significantly to 48% and they actually conceded fewer turnovers (15 as opposed to 18) despite effectively doubling the amount of playing that they did. Perhaps even more interesting is that the defence statistics, in terms of number of tackles and percentage completion, is virtually the same as it was in week one. Just to put that another way, the same amount of defending and twice as much attacking over 80 minutes than the week before. I’d say the coach asked his players to step up and deliver and they certainly heeded that call.

Not that this was perfect, mind you, not by a long chalk. We need to remember that but for a lucky bounce and a crucial lineout steal, the Sharks would have probably lost this match. It is really important, though, to take the lucky win, but concentrate instead on the improvement in the overall performance over week 1. I find myself salivating at the prospect of the Sharks delivering this sort of incremental performance improvement week by week in the opening stages of the competition. Again, not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but the signs are generally positive and I’m feeling rather bullish about what’s to come.



26 Comments

  • Yes, finally we were the team dominating possession (for long periods) and not just defending/stealing/kicking, rinse and repeat. We’re definitely on the right track. Make the other team defend over and over and those holes will start opening up and the tries will come. We were also much better at cleaning out after we got tackled. Great discipline and commitment shown by the boys.

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.03.17 14:04:42 by jakkalas Reply
    jakkalasCurrie Cup player
     
  • @jakkalas (Comment 1) : must tell you, the thing that I was looking for (and saw, often enough) was PATIENCE with the ball in the red zone. Sharks did this very well on Saturday and when you hold the ball in the opposition 22 for 16 phases chances are you’re going to get some reward. Try to force an offload or make a silly pass and you lose the benefit of all that work

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.03.17 14:28:47 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • Any chance you have the handling error stats for the last two weeks? Obviously not a straight apples for apples comparison considering the improved possesion percentages but would still be interesting to see whether the ratio went up or down.

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.03.17 14:44:02 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : definitely down, but I’m just trying to get final numbers.

    AllOutRugby (former Vodacom Rugby) reckons 19 this week and a season total of 59, which means 40 last week and a 50% reduction.

    Not sure I trust those numbers, but we definitely didn’t drop as many this week.

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.03.17 14:50:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Write my name in the cautiously optimistic column then :grin:

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.03.17 14:54:08 by vanmartin Reply
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  • And the nice thing is we didnt lose our cool and revert back to type when the brumbies took an early lead.

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.03.17 15:20:04 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Yup, there certainly was much to be impressed with this week…

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.03.17 15:26:43 by pastorshark Reply
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  • loving how the Stormers fan boys ranting and raving. Jaguares a good side and with a little discipline would have won that game. Mr Rich is also not making any attempt to mention how infrequent SA sides has won in Canberra. (http://www.supersport.com/rugby/super-rugby/news/170306/SA_revolution_gathering_momentum)

    Cant wait for some egg on the face of the writers as their golden boys run into a black and white wall and chases shadows :twisted:

    ALos cnat believe the drivel on th Netwerk24 articles claiming Pat has no added a new dimension to his game – sound defence!!! they surely are confusing Pat with Steyn / Jantjies / Pollard.

    anyway, steady improvements is all we are asking for as the comp is long and form needs to be found at the right time.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.03.17 16:05:04 by Kabouter Reply

    KabouterCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Kabouter (Comment 8) : haha. Ja. When has Pat ever been weak on defence?

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.03.17 16:22:20 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 9) : he was well below par defensively against the Reds.

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.03.17 16:33:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • Sharks really impressed me with the way they played them back into the game!!! Well done to the players and the coaches!!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.03.17 16:42:00 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I’m sure he can be forgiven as it was his first game back after a long injury break!!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.03.17 16:45:08 by JD Reply
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  • @Kabouter (Comment 8) : My favorite was old Walter Matheau, Mallet repeating three times how bad the Australian teams are,just to pour cold water on our victory.
    Without Toilet Peyper,who was the Stormers man of the match ,13 Argies would have won that game.

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.03.17 16:50:28 by The hound Reply
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  • @Kabouter (Comment 8) : Does anyone mention how crap Peyper blew the game, Jaguares team and fans could well feel that they were done in by a home town ref.

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.03.17 16:57:57 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 13) : well 5 points on the road (in 2 games) against whom ever is good in my book! Now to smoke the Tahs and make it 9 points from 3 games against Ozzie teams!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.03.17 17:06:32 by JD Reply
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  • Well played sharks. Lambie’s missed penalties almost cost us. But that’s the nature of the game. Please can we get another back up scrum half. Claasens was bad again. I know it’s only the second game but I think that the Sharks are in need of a fetcher to balance the loose trio. Lack of possession will cost us.

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.03.17 17:16:18 by sudhir Reply

    Vodacom Cup player
     
  • It was the same team.
    But different opponents.

    Last week the Reds rounded the backline on the outside about 4 times and also made 3 or 4 line-breaks close in. That pushed the Sharks deep into their own half from whence they were forced to kick and defend.
    The Sharks defense was better. Or perhaps the Brumbies just lacked Cooper’s abilities to bamboozle.
    The Sharks were able to keep the ball for many phases, because…well George Smith now plays for the Reds.
    Not starting with Bosch was a good idea.

    Overall a good result from the tour. A bit lucky to win here and unlucky not to have won last week. From the 6 SA teams the Sharks at least look like the real deal. JUST WORK ON THE DEFENSIVE SYSTEM A BIT. Too much bundling up in the mid field and too many holes close to the ruck.

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.03.17 22:22:44 by fyndraai Reply
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  • I see the Bulls are now so kak, there’s not even any glee about it here.

    I figured out that I was all the time a fan of Bulls rugby, more than I was a fan of the Bulls. Now that they will not play Bulls rugby anymore I feel nothing.
    They have probably the heaviest and tallest forward pack in the competition, yet cannot win their own scrums or line-outs. This is a coaching failure more than anything else. He wants them to run from everywhere, yet they cannot pass or catch and are totally disorganized on defense.

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.03.17 22:31:37 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 18) : They’ll find their mojo. Probably playing against the Sharks :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.03.17 08:41:39 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I recall at least one occasion that we hit 20 phases. That’s fantastic for a Sharks team – great patience and team play. We have always had good strike runners, but communication and support play has been patchy until now.

    @fyndraai (Comment 18) :
    Early in the season still. Losing so many senior players is not easy to recover from.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.03.17 11:21:37 by Big Fish Reply
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  • I did not see the game, but if it is anything close to what you saying, then I am really glad they changed their attitudes and gameplan for the game and playing more positively. I am glad the team toured so early as our young team needed time to gell, and this was a perfect opportunity for them to do so.

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.03.17 15:53:15 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 18) : Perfect weekend of Super Rugby; victories by all South African teams, except the Bulls!

    There, happy now? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.03.17 15:59:15 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 18) : maybe they’re struggling because those heavy and tall forward are over weight and unfit? Last time I saw Nyakane he looked more like a Sumo wrestler than a rugby player!!!

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.03.17 21:52:52 by JD Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 22) :

    Come to think of it. SA teams were 4 and 0 against foreign opponents. That does make me happy.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.03.17 22:59:11 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 24) : ja must say that does not happen often even if two of the teams are Japs and Argies!!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 08.03.17 11:16:48 by JD Reply
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  • Rob, well done with the honourable mention on the Super Wrap article… :grin:

  • Comment 26, posted at 08.03.17 12:10:59 by pastorshark Reply
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