robdylan

What a fan wants, what a fan needs…


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 12 Jul 2017 at 11:07
Tagged with : , , ,

This week, the column inches are being taken up by talk of permutations (as is normal at the end of a round robin phase). The wise men who fill the back pages have branded Saturday’s crunch match between the Sharks and the Lions as somewhere between a completely dead rubber, a must-win for the home side and a must-definitely-not-win for the home side (or is that the away side?). If you think you’re confused, read on.

Reality is, all of that is just bumph. Rugby can and should be simple and trying to complicate it with talk of throwing matches and hoping for other results really does detract from what makes this game special. Let me clear up the confusion once and for all and spell out what the Sharks need to do here. Starting next week, they need to win three away games in succession and they will hold the Super Rugby trophy. It really is just about that, right now. This week’s game, as much as we may like to pretend, doesn’t mean anything in terms of the mountain facing the team. You can take that hard, cold fact positively or negatively as suits your taste.

Let’s take this a step further. Why on earth would we think that an away quarter-final in Johannesburg would be any better or easier for the Sharks than one in Christchurch? Do we all have selective amnesia? Did we not watch the Sharks against the Bulls? Have we ignored the sublime rugby that the Lions are playing (consistently) every week, seemingly regardless of opponent or venue? This talk is just vanity and delusion, if you ask me. Here’s the news flash (and it’s not fake news). The Sharks ARE NOT going to beat the Lions anywhere, on any day anytime soon if they dish up the crap we saw in their last outing. Even if the Crusaders do miraculously lose their final game, all Sharks fans have to look forward to right now is two record hidings in quick succession against the Lions, one at home and one away.

Unless. Unless…. unless they play the way that we know they can play – the way they played when they were robbed of a victory at Ellis Park earlier in the year and the way they played when they humiliated the Stormers just before the break. Yes, these Sharks do have that sort of performance in them, but we don’t see it consistently, never know when it’s going to come and thus would be foolish to think we can predict or rely on such a showing.

So here’s my advice – here’s what I need from the Sharks as a loyal but long-suffering fan. Shelve any talk of revenge, or permutations, or farewell games, or whatever else. Forget about next week and whatever will come of that – hell, forget about this week too and all the other games taking place that may affect final placings. Just go out and play this game to make your fans proud - to prove that you feel something for us and that you respect the jersey and the heritage of this great union. To be honest, on current form, you are not worthy to talk about revenge over the Lions, not after the way you played against the Bulls. So please, let’s stop. Let’s not hear another word about that. Let’s just see you play this game as though winning it for the fans is THE ONLY thing that matters in your life.

Do that and then perhaps we can start to have hope for Ellis Park, or Christchurch or whatever comes next.



29 Comments

  • I would just like this team to play to their potential. Will that be enough to win three games after this weekend? Very unlikely – there are too many structural issues that still need to be solved.

    But I do want the team to show some consistent improvement – not have a couple of Gees driven good games through the season interspersed with a lot of mediocre to rubbish.

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.07.17 11:29:27 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
     
  • All i want is for the players and coaching staff to respect that jersey, not only by words but by action as well. All i want is for them to play like they are defending they own families and leave everything on that field.
    All i want is to wear my faded old sharks jersey with pride when i walk in town or attend braais.
    Most of all, all i want is for them to be a success and fulfill they rugby dreams. dreams that so many of us will never achieve but have entrusted them to do it for us, for themselves, for they families,for the past legends and for KZN

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.07.17 12:56:18 by Poisy Reply
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    PoisyTeam captain
     
  • @Poisy (Comment 2) : Well said, this should go on the locker room wall.

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.07.17 12:58:42 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I’ll be at the game.

    Looking forward to a great game between two sides intent on winning the trophy.

    The Sharks need to come with attitude this week.

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.07.17 13:08:11 by StevieS Reply
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    StevieSSuper Rugby player
     
  • So last 2 games of SR for the year then. I don’t see us coming out blazing. We need Claasens to start and to be safe we need Keegan Daniel to lend experience to the forwards. What will happen is Reinach will start and Dan du Preez will start.

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.07.17 13:08:31 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • Excellent write-up, Rob…
    @Poisy (Comment 2) : Excellent comment, Poisy…
    Please men, let’s get it together!

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.07.17 13:14:35 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 5) : yes, Dan and Reinach will start. We know this. But it’s nice to pretend.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.07.17 13:19:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • Great piece.

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.07.17 13:24:45 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Assuming for a minute there’s no (conscious) pro-family bias, then I can still understand starting Dan… just. If the coach believes he represents the future for the union at no. 8, then it makes sense to give him as many opportunities as possible (I know, I’m reaching here).

    As for Reinach, Einstein once said: “Insanity; playing the same player (who has amply demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to change) over and over again and expecting different results.” Or something like that.

    Asterisk sigh asterisk

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.07.17 16:03:19 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Poisy (Comment 2) : This comment makes me want to round up a crowd to stand together and wave lighters in the air… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.07.17 16:04:44 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 9) : I think it’s premature to say he represents the future of the union at 8. He is surely welcome to try out but I don’t think he has cemented the position. At the moment I still rate Terra higher than him and he is not that far removed from other aspirants.

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.07.17 16:08:30 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : You misunderstand me; I do not advocate Dan as the future at 8, and would much rather see him convert to a no. 4 lock. I’m just trying to look for reasons for him and Reinach getting continued game time, when their form really doesn’t warrant it.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.07.17 16:22:57 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 12) : Well you may have a point. Although it may be premature to call nepotism. As for Reinach I am completely stumped. In fact I would have promoted junior to play ahead of him long ago. What risk is there in a less experienced player if the veteran is incapable or incompetent? At least the less experienced guy gains experience and sooner or later his status changes.

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.07.17 17:13:18 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 13) : The Reinach issue is pretty simple. Robert du Preez rates him as the best scrumhalf in SA.

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.07.17 18:00:40 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 14) : Hah apparently so does many commentators. Always throwing words like pure class when they read the lineups. He mist have his own PR company or something.

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.07.17 18:56:17 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 15) : When Reinach came onto the scene he had x-factor superstar written all over him. Where it all went south is anyone’s guess. Let’s hope he rediscovers his mojo in Europe.

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.07.17 20:30:19 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Mzamo Majola is killing it at the kings at super rugby level inconsistently starting for them at LH since the international break, after making appearances from the bench before then.

    I really hope we bring him back for our CC campaign, beast will likely be with the Boks, Majola, schoeman and tank to fight it out at LH during the CC.

    We are looking low on depth at TH for the CC, with JHM. counie with the boks, Laurence off tp france, that promising young TH we got from Boland at the start of the season, has he recovered from the injury yet ?

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.07.17 02:10:29 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • @revolverocelot (Comment 17) : Mzamo will come back and bring the other Kings prop with him, I believe.

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.07.17 09:51:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : awesom news just wish he was a TH instead. someone has to bite the bullet and convert. I know the tank tried but he is such a better LH it was a waste

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.07.17 10:21:52 by Poisy Reply
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    PoisyTeam captain
     
  • @Poisy (Comment 19) : I think we’re good at 3.

    Meyer is very good – more than good enough as back-up to Coenie for Super Rugby. We could get a few good years out of the Kings 3 as well and then there’s still the chance that Enoch Mnyaka could recover. Also Khutha Mchunu coming through.

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.07.17 10:32:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • Juan Schoeman is uselss. I’d really like to see Majola, Meyer and du Toit as our 3 props for Currie Cup match day squad. The fact that du Toit and Meyer can pack on either side is helpful.

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.07.17 10:32:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 16) : Cobus Reinarch is a sentimental favorite with a lot of rugby players of Rob du Perez vintage.
    His father the super athlete and rugby player was cut down in a car accident at 35,leaving his two sons and 6,9 and his unborn chid.
    Guys like Brendan Venter were in awe of him.he was Grey College royalty.

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.07.17 10:52:45 by The hound Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 16) : Hubris

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.07.17 11:18:54 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
     
  • @The hound (Comment 22) : I think you have this spot on.

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.07.17 11:22:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 22) : That may be so, but my opinion of him is completely objective. I didn’t even know that Jaco Reinach died when Cobus was 6 or that he went to Grey College. I reckon he’s simply poorly coached, like many other SA scrumhalves, which is why he’s so prone to indecisiveness and having his box kicks charged down.

    What I remember a lot, though, is that everyone and his dog on Sharksworld were shouting for him to start ahead of Charl McLeod when they were our two scrummies and the sighs of relief when McLeod announced that he was leaving for Grenoble. It didn’t take long for McLeod’s game to improve and people wishing he was back in the black and white when it turned out that Reinach wasn’t actually any better.

    We’ll see how long it takes for the same thing to happen if/when Reinach becomes the form 9 in Europe. :grin:

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.07.17 12:22:11 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 25) : What you have forgotten is Plumtree being so enamoured with McLeod that he got rid of Kockert,Ross Cronje and Tian Meyer,and even let Ryan Pienaar go, every single one of them still playing better rugby than what we have now.

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.07.17 14:18:46 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 26) : Right, I did forget about that. It’s a defense mechanism, which I’m sure every single Sharks fan inevitably develops. Thanks for reminding me… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.07.17 18:33:40 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : I appreciate the insight

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.07.17 00:44:40 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : Thanks for this…

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.07.17 06:56:46 by pastorshark Reply
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