KSA Shark ©

Sharks want to set the record straight

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 14 Apr 2008 at 12:00

Revenge will be a strong motivation for the Sharks this week, along with pride in preserving their unbeaten record, as they turn their attention to the Brumbies team that out-thought and outplayed them last year.

“If we can win this one, it will be retribution for us,” coach Dick Muir said on Sunday. “That loss to the Brumbies really hurt the guys, and it temporarily derailed our campaign. We never got out of the starting blocks in that game – because they did not let us and we were also missing in action.”

Mike Greenaway writes in The Mercury that the Sharks spent Sunday in recovery mode at their base at Coogee beach in Sydney. They had had a tough day of travel on Saturday, departing their Dunedin hotel at 7am and then flying to Wellington, then to Auckland and finally on to Sydney.

Although it was overcast with intermittent rain on Sunday, the Sharks were pleased to be back at a beach not unlike those of Durban, and they got the Highlanders’ game out of their system with a session of body surfing.

The Sharks went into last year’s game against the Brumbies unbeaten after six games and having thumped the Hurricanes the week before, earning their first bonus point in the process, but then failed to fire against the Australians and were still shell-shocked in Perth the following week, losing to the Force in their first tour game.

“The Brumbies certainly put us off our stride, so this year we would like to make amends, and this time there is no chance of us underestimating them, which was part of the problem last season,” Muir said.

On Saturday night the Brumbies versus Blues match was watched with obvious interest in the team hotel, and the top performance of the Brumbies in beating the Blues in Auckland rid the Sharks of any possible complacency there might have been.

“The Brumbies’ game plan was spot on,” Muir said. “The way they closed the Blues down, not allowing them to play, reminds me of how we felt when we played the Brumbies last year. Also, what they did to us last year was nullify our rolling maul, which had been so good the week before against the Hurricanes.”

This season the ELVs have negated that strength of the Sharks because there are fewer penalties, thus fewer kicks to the corner, and fewer line-outs from which to launch that maul.

But the ELVs provide the Sharks with more opportunities to scrum, which is an alternative they can opt for from free kicks.

“But I also think that we are generally more versatile in the forwards this season,” Muir adds.

And against the Highlanders, the Sharks’ backline showed a greater appetite for adventure, which has pleased Muir no end.

“I believe our backline has turned the corner,” he says. “We are now on the right track with our attack. It does not worry me that the backline was not the finished article against the Highlanders – the main thing is that we have shifted towards a more positive mindset, and we can now grow.”

Muir says the Sharks aim to escalate their attacking ambitions even more in Canberra on Saturday, and with the Brumbies being one of the most attacking teams in the competition, the game should produce fireworks.

“I have a feeling it is going to be a great game,” Muir says.

“The Brumbies will be very confident after beating the Blues away, and they have been lifted by the return of senior backs in Stirling Mortlock and Mark Gerrard, while the Sharks want to set the record straight after losing in Durban last year.”


  • I have a strange feeling we will see an unchanged backline this week, for better or worse.

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.04.08 12:10:09 by robdylan (LTOFT) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Well Dick will do what he does…and the boys have to do what they do…

    No more excuses…no more promises…this is IT!

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.04.08 12:24:03 by blackshark (YNWA) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • “I have a feeling it is going to be a great game,” Muir says.

    For the Brunbies ❓ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.04.08 13:25:40 by Kal-El Reply

  • They will feel good afterwards, knowing they were stuffed by a truly GREAT team. 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.04.08 13:41:38 by robdylan (LTOFT) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Rodb, That high horse you’re sitting on is actually a Brumby. Careful :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.04.08 13:57:31 by Kal-El Reply

  • Bring on the Brumbies… 😡

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.04.08 14:08:45 by blackshark (JAWS) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • JAWS = Just Another Wet Sh*t ❓ 😈 😆

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.04.08 14:10:22 by Ollie Reply

  • #7


  • Comment 8, posted at 14.04.08 14:14:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Ollie…not bad for a STRESSED OUT KITTY 😉

    I was thinking more along the lines of Just Attack With Style. 😎

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.04.08 14:23:31 by blackshark (JAWS) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • hehehehe

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.04.08 14:26:41 by Ollie Reply

  • Good afternoon everyone!

    I am more worried about the Chiefs game than the Brumbies.

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.04.08 14:55:38 by Nessa Reply

  • Hi Nessa…

    We’re playing the Chiefs at the Shark-Tank…so we should be fine.

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.04.08 15:00:33 by blackshark (JAWS) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Hi BS – let’s hope so. They are playing well.

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.04.08 15:04:54 by Nessa Reply

  • Yes they are…

    I just want us to get over the Brumbies game so we can have a bit more direction to our campaign.

    Have to go now…later people…

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.04.08 15:07:08 by blackshark (JAWS) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • The chiefs are playing the crusaders, now why on earth would that worry you. 🙄


  • Comment 15, posted at 14.04.08 15:07:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Very funny cat man!! 😉

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.04.08 15:15:33 by Nessa Reply

  • But you are right – first things first, Brumbies and then we will see.

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.04.08 15:19:30 by Nessa Reply

  • Hi Ness!!! Welcome back! How was the cruise?? 🙂

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.04.08 15:21:27 by I'ce Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Hi Ice.

    It was awesome thanks – we had an absolute ball. Haven’t eaten so much in ages. The food was fantastic.

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.04.08 15:26:50 by Nessa Reply

  • The last three games of this tour are going to be very difficult, and believe it or not, this Brumbies game may be the easiest of the three. The ‘tahs have only lost two games, and the ‘saders none. Eish, not and easy three weeks for the boys, but I am sure they will do us all proud.

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.04.08 15:42:33 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • Dancing Bear – that’s what I think. Not too worried about this one.

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.04.08 15:51:16 by Nessa Reply

  • 5 points no matter what!
    We bumbled and fumbled our way thru the Highlanders game that should have been a gimme. Now with the Tahs looking potent and the Crusaders as classy as ever, Sharkies are going to have to pull 5 points out the bag this weekend to secure that home semi-final. No pressure…

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.04.08 15:58:07 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • Hi Nessa, I am not going to say I am not too worried because the Brumbies are also a good side, but we must win this one because the next two are going to be more difficult. If I had my say, this is my team for the Brumbies:

    1. Deon (did you see the Sharks destroy the Highlanders scrum once Deon came on?)
    2. Bissie
    3. Jannie (BJ gets a break)
    4. Sykes
    5. Muller
    6. Botes
    7. AJ
    8. Kankow
    9. Ruan
    10. Freddie
    11. JPP (if he had been on the left wing last week with the backs finally running some angles and playing much better from set play, we would have been better on the left wing – Murray is a centre, not wing)
    12. Steyn (Barritt has played every game, and deserves a rest)
    13. Murray
    14. Ndungane
    15. Stefan (he just gets better and better at fullback. His kicking game from hand is so much better than last season, it is very obvious he is working on his kicking game to become a better fullback)
    16. Burden
    17. Beast
    18. BJ
    19. Albert
    20. Keegan
    21. Kocky
    22. Adi

    I like the 5-2 split on the bench, especially with Burden who can play Centre or wing if needed, and quite well too.

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.04.08 16:00:27 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • We had a couple of easier options earlier on, which we did not make use of – so ja – now the pressure is on to produce… 🙁

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.04.08 16:02:00 by I'ce Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • DB – didn’t mean it that way like they were a useless team. Just have a lot of confidence in this game.

    I most definitely saw the change in the scrum once Deon came onto the field. He is awesome – one of my all time favourites! Considering it is almost a year since he played for the Sharks – what a professional to be able to play so well first time up. I know he has played a few games for the Beeste – but I was very impressed.

    I am not a big fan of JP.

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.04.08 16:03:23 by Nessa Reply

  • Dancing Bear, Steyn is off-form. Quite horrendous really. He’s simply not finding his rhythm, he doesn’t pass, and his renowned drop goals are mowing the pitch these days. You can’t be serious about him playing…

  • Comment 26, posted at 14.04.08 16:10:10 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • If we are going to try someone else at Flyhalf (although I don’t know why we don’t just leave Fred there) what about Ruan?

  • Comment 27, posted at 14.04.08 16:11:39 by Nessa Reply

  • Can anyone tell me – is Rob gepla with the moon??/ he always seem to be pointing at the sky…. 😉 😉

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.04.08 16:15:08 by I'ce Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Someone on the Sharks blog said they have heard Keegan is injured – and Johan Muller burst an eardrum in the game last weekend. Any truth to this?

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.04.08 16:15:34 by Nessa Reply

  • Ice – I was just going to comment about that. 😉

    Oh well – going to be on my bicycle – chat again tomorrow.

  • Comment 30, posted at 14.04.08 16:16:25 by Nessa Reply

  • Edenpark is not a happy hunting ground for the Brumbies, yet they beat the Blues at home. Sharks will struggle with Frans @ 13.

  • Comment 31, posted at 14.04.08 16:16:47 by Cru-El (BABVA) Reply

  • Have not heard anything about that, Ness… 😕 Lets hope its a rumour..

  • Comment 32, posted at 14.04.08 16:17:09 by I'ce Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Says Who, exactly, Cruel??? 😈

  • Comment 33, posted at 14.04.08 16:18:12 by I'ce Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Cruel – well that depends on how well you ALLOW them to play. The Blues are not the Sharks!

    Ice – read it on the Sharks blog – Mad posted a message to that effect.

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.04.08 16:19:45 by Nessa Reply

  • Sharks wait on battered duo

    Posted in Super 14 by Ryan

    The Sharks look set to lose captain Johann Muller for their crucial match against the Brumbies on Saturday, while Keegan Daniel is fighting to overcome a lower back injury.

    Muller burst an eardrum in the win over the Highlanders at the weekend and although he kept playing, he was in considerable pain on the all day journey from the South Island in New Zealand to Sydney, Australia on Sunday.

    He saw a specialist on Monday and the Sharks are awaiting the results before making a final call on his availability. Muller’s imminent exclusion is a massive blow for the Sharks. The second rower has been outstanding this season, but has seldom been lavished with the praise he deserves.

    His work at the set phases has been solid but it’s on defence and cleaning at ruck time that his value is truly found. The Sharks have a number of replacement options, the leading candidate being Albert Van den Berg.

    Van den Berg has played the majority of the matches in this campaign off the wood but has always been a consistent performer, irrespective of whether he’s been utilised as an impact player or in the run-on side.

    Veteran AJ Venter is the other option to partner Steven Sykes, although Daniel’s injury status could force a reshuffle in the back row – where Venter could partner Jacques Botes and Ryan Kankowski.

    Daniel was struck with an accidental knee to the lower back in Dunedin and was reported to be in extreme pain after the match. He has improved since, with the Sharks’ medical staff giving him a 50-50 chance of being fit for the Canberra clash.

    Daniel has been sensational this season and his ability in the loose will be sorely missed should he be ruled out. However, Venter, Kankowski and Botes were arguably the finest back row combination in the 2007 tournament, and while Daniel’s speed across the field and ability with ball in hand is an asset under the ELVs, the Sharks would gain some grunt with the introduction of Venter.

    Senior Mercury rugby writer Mike Greenaway reported from Sydney that head coach Dick Muir is likely to reintroduce out-of-form wing JP Pietersen to the starting lineup at the expense of Waylon Murray.

    Frans Steyn, who has already played in three different positions this season, would therefore be retained at outside centre. The move is questionable given that Pietersen has looked a shadow of the player who tormented defences in the 2007 tournament (he finished as the leading try scorer).

    Steyn looked vulnerable on defence against the Highlanders and will no doubt be targeted by the Brumbies’ dangerous outside backs should he start in midfield.

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.04.08 16:19:47 by barend Reply

  • Capeshark, I agree that Steyn has been off form, but the poor boy has been messed around a bit. This is one thing I don’t agree with Dick about. I strongly believe that Steyn is either a 12 or 15, and should be allowed to settle in there. Barritt has been fantastic on defense, but has been poor on attack this season, so I think he needs a break, and let Steyn settle in at 12 for a few games.

    Nessa, as for JPP, he was fantastic at the RWC last season, and also very good in the Super 14 last year. This year, he has not been so good, but has also not been given opportunities by his teammates or by the structures the Sharks are playing to. In the RWC there was a very successful play from a set piece where the ball is slipped from the 10 to the 12 and then immediately back inside to the blind side wing running through on an angle. Why have the Sharks not run this play a single time?

  • Comment 36, posted at 14.04.08 16:20:14 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • Have a good evening Ness!

    Oi hell…hope it’s a sick joke…

  • Comment 37, posted at 14.04.08 16:21:53 by I'ce Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Eish, not good to lose Muller. Why Dick won’t give Barritt a break and play Steyn at 12 I just don’t understand. Barritt has not shown anything on attack this season.

  • Comment 38, posted at 14.04.08 16:23:48 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • #36
    Agree on JP. (Some) SA teams hardly bring their wings into play with well worked-out moves. The play mostly dies with 12 or 13 or the ball is kicked away.

  • Comment 39, posted at 14.04.08 16:28:24 by Cru-El (BABVA) Reply

  • Cru-El, not only do SA teams not bring their wings into play enough with well worked out plays, but up until the last game, the Sharks did not test the oppositions defensive systems with any of their set plays. The Sharks backs were not running angles well (up until this past week), and they were simply shoveling the ball out to the wings or running centre crashballs.

  • Comment 40, posted at 14.04.08 17:03:29 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • Man this story on Muller and Daniel is not good.

    let’s hope they pull through chop chop.

  • Comment 41, posted at 14.04.08 17:28:11 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.