KSA Shark ©

Sharks self-destruct against Brumbies

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 20 Apr 2008 at 06:48
Tagged with :

The Sharks lost their discipline and unbeaten Super 14 rugby record as the tenacious ACT Brumbies stormed home for a dramatic 27-21 victory on Saturday.

Last year’s beaten finalists looked set to stay unconquered after nine matches with a composed opening half to lead 18-7, but the Brumbies steamed home in the second term stringing together 20 unanswered points.

Foxsport reports that the Durban-based team grabbed a losing bonus point with replacement Ruan Pienaar’s 77th-minute penalty goal to trail tournament leaders the Crusaders by six points after the Crusaders’ shock 18-5 loss to the Chiefs on Friday.

The Sharks self-destructed through ill-discipline, with No.8 Ryan Kankowski and centre Francois Steyn leaving their team a man down with yellow cards at vital stages of the second half.

It was a breakdown in discipline which cost the leading South African title chasers dearly, as Australia outside back Adam Ashley-Cooper grabbed two tries and No.8 Julian Salvi another to lift the Brumbies to victory.

“In the second half our discipline was defective and we gave away too many penalties and free kicks and you can’t play with 14 men on the field,” fumed skipper Johann Muller.

It was a golden opportunity to press on for a home play-off next month for the Sharks, and they are now facing a crucial match with third-placed New South Wales in Sydney next Saturday.

The Sharks have not beaten the two-time champion Brumbies in 10 years in Canberra and it was the one that got away from them as they crumbled under the pressure exerted by the home side, missing Wallaby skipper Stirling Mortlock.

The Durban team looked impressive in the first half, displaying polished support play, to lead 13-0 after Kankowski’s 34th-minute try.

Ashley-Cooper pulled it back to 13-7 with a 40m intercept try off a wayward Steyn pass, but the precocious Springbok youngster made amends when he backed up a Kankowski line-break to score right on half-time.

The Brumbies, dominating territory and possession, put the Sharks under immense pressure in the second half, recycling the ball in multi-phases and getting their reward when Salvi plunged over after 19 phases while the Sharks were without the sin-binned Kankowski.

Mark Gerrard kicked the Brumbies to within a point, 18-17, midway through the half before Steyn was banished to the sin bin in the 67th minute, enabling Gerrard to kick the home side in front for the first time.

There was no way back for the Sharks when Ashley-Cooper finished off an overlap to score out wide in Steyn’s absence. Gerrard converted from the sideline to establish a nine-point lead.

The Sharks became more desperate to claw back the deficit and got a bonus point out of the wreckage with Pienaar’s penalty kick.

The gutsy victory revives the Brumbies’ play-off hopes, as they are now parked just outside the top four with another home match against the lowly Lions next Friday.

Fisher praised his players for a “fairly stunning performance” in the second half but downplayed suggestions that the announcement of his coaching had played any part in the second-half revival.

“They did it for themselves, it was an achievement for the whole group,” Fisher said.

“It was a courageous second-half for us. What we talked about at half-time was working en masse, not as individuals.”

Fisher said he had urged his players in the second half to take the game up to the Sharks, particularly at the breakdown.

“Rugby is a game of momentum and self-belief – our self-belief never wavered.”

The Brumbies have a difficult run to the semi-finals with a home game on Anzac Day against the Lions followed by a three-week trip to South Africa and Western Australia.

Sharks coach Dick Muir was scathing of his players’ second-half performance.

“It was stupid play on our behalf, we gave away too many penalties, we got under the referee’s skin and the game changed,” Muir said.

He said the team had known the Brumbies would be tough opponents and at half-time he had thought his players had performed well.

But the second half was completely different.

“Discipline cost us and there’s no excuse,” Muir said.

“But it’s not a train smash for us. We like to win and we know how to play.”


  • Kners

    (In reply to your comment on the other thread)

    We did more than well enough in the first half, so I don’t think we are missing anybody.

    This heading says SOME of what went wrong and the rest i lay at the feet of Bryce Lawrence and the players.

    You all know i usually defend a ref when he deserves defending, but Mr. Lawrence will get very little defence from me this week.

    And then the players need(ed) to take some responsibility as well. we can’t put ALL the blame at the refs feet.

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.04.08 09:27:35 by KSA Shark © (FJ!ELN!) Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • yeah ksa, i agree. all in all it was pne of those halves where nothing went right, backline re-shuffle, yellow cards, we just couldn’t get the ball. next two games are crucial, things on a knife edge now. we wanna win this thing we gotta front up now.

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.04.08 10:34:12 by knersboy Reply
  • #

    Morning everyone…

    Im really disappointed in the Sharks 2nd half at Canberra yesterday 😥
    But as everyone has being saying perhaps this is the wake up call we’ve been needing.

    That said – I did’nt agree with the Ref’s interpretation of Steyn’s alleged infringement nor for Kankowski’s either… The yellow was too harsh – a short arm for both of them would have sufficed. Supporting your own body weight cant done if you are being sucked into a mall which was obvious when Steyn emerged he was on his BACK with two Brumbies holding his legs in the AIR!?!? EISH!!

    These new EVL’s are terrible. How come it was an Australian who came up with these laws and these new laws simply negate traditional rugby?? Is it perhaps that the Aussie’s have seen that they would not be able to compete if they did’nt change the rules?!?!? Funny it came after a very monotone WC final between SA and England?!?!?

    Its takes me back to my days at Uni. and the above sounds suspiciously like what happened back then… My mates & I entered a touch rugby tournement at Uni. (Rhodes). We moped up the opposition easily and found ourselves in the final against the Rhodes Rugby 1st, coached by a Kiwi (Lupi). The format of the tournement was 1 touch, 7 aside, 10 minutes a half. As I said before we breezed through that – we get to the finals and now all of a sudden it was 6 touch, 8 aside and 20 minutes a half, just to accomodate the 1st team as part of their training!?!?!

    But you know what – we beat them anyways!!! And the look on their faces is something I will never ever forget as they could’nt even look me in the eyes when I went up to collect our prize!!!

    Steyn worries me. He is such a talent but he has no guidence. No experienced campaigners in the backline to keep him in place and mature him… Except Stephan, but he is Mr. Nice if you get what I mean.

    Terblanche as sublime as he is playing at the moment, just does’nt have international pedigree… he is good but I still think he lacks that electricity and penetrative ability. When Percy hit the line it seemed more fluid and with alot more acceleration – Terblanche does’nt do that for me… But that said he is our most consistent backline player and does bring an ethos of composure – but he is a wet weather fullback… bold statment I know but there it is…

    Muller – lacks authority by the looks of things. On Saturday he did’nt pull his lads together and give them a rollicking under the posts, he had his head down and kept confering with his team mates. Leadership is what we needed to calm the lads down and cosolidate.

    It was difficult to play 16 men, as someone said we definately got under the Ref’s skin… but I do believe that with Smit at the helm we would have seen off that relentless attack. But credit where credit is due – the Brumbies were flawless in that 200 phase possession…

    As for the Boks – well PdV has got a wealth to choose from – except for flyhalf – but the rest should be fine. I agree though, Steyn should be benched for a little while, let him get his focus back for Boks and Sharks. With Jean doing an outstanding job a 12 for the Stormers, perhaps a 12 Jean and 13 Murry might not be a bad duo for the Boks with Styen coming on as super sub???

    Bakkies is DEF. missing Victor LOL like a couple that’s been split – hardly a force on his own… The frech club should have bought them both – anyone know how Victor is doing on his own???

    At least JP had a slightly better game. I think he is still struggling to adapt to the new laws. The first real break he had – he tackeled the guy and turned him and rucked the ball back – would have been okay by old rules…

    I believe the Northen Hemisphere is strongly against the EVL’s? And the chances of them accepting them after what I feel has been a failure as an expose` – I doubt they will want to use them.

    Perhaps its time for SA Rugby to look at the reality of the situation, we know for a fact that Aussi and Kiwi refs are biased towards us and have us pegged for grunting brutes with no brains and abrassive, hot headed decision makers… Everything we do is “malicious” and frought with “cynisim” because thats how “all South Africans” are…

    Why don’t we let Argentina take our place in the Super 14 and we play in Heinkein Cup? Less travel, more opportunity for our players to earn a good living, gain some valuable experience for other players – and still be eligible for Boks?!? Do you think it will soften us up? I don’t think so – I think it give our players an outlet and allow for more young talent to come through the ranks…

    Okay enough blathering!! 😳

    Go SHARKS – lets restore the faith and take those ‘Tahs’ to the cleaners!!

    And as much as I hate saying this – COME ON STORMERS – make it to the finals and let us beat you there!! 😆

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.04.08 10:58:55 by The_Deleted Reply
  • How come it was an Australian who came up with these laws and these new laws simply negate traditional rugby??

    I don’t agree with the ELV’s either but that is rather a sweeping statement.

    It wasn’t an Aussie who came up with the ELV’s.

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.04.08 11:55:02 by KSA Shark © (FJ!ELN!) Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • I will put up an article in a few minutes about where the ELV’s come from and who decided on them.

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.04.08 11:56:12 by KSA Shark © (FJ!ELN!) Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • The Sharks contributed as much to their downfall as did anything or anyone else. Ill discipline, kicks at goal missed (again).. They lost. It’s not lekker, but they’re a good side with a good coach. They’ll bounce back.

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.04.08 12:20:22 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
  • Goalkicking. Grr

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.04.08 17:32:42 by robdylan (LTOFT) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • The first half…I absolutely loved every one of our 15. Things looked good w/ a few smaller exceptions but for the most part that was the start of what I had been hoping for.

    Yesterday was a clusterf*ck in the second half imo. It was like I was watching a living nightmare. My issues with the second half.

    One being the ref. WTF. I don’t mind if we are penalized for something legitimate but..last I checked it’s virtually impossible to roll away when you are flat on your back with two larger men pratically pining to you to the ground. The combined weight of those Brumbies had to be what 2x or 3x the weight of Frans? I mean really.

    My second issue was the substitutions. I think they were either done too early or weren’t needed. Especially the 9/10 disaster. Michalak & Rory out for Ruan & then you bump up Frans. Ugh. If you wanted to pull Rory fine then bump Fred to 9 and let Ruan at 10. Frans needs to stay in one home for more than 40 mins..it’s a simple equation really put him somewhere give him water and game time and he’ll be brillant.

    So frustrating..and there’s sh*tall we can do except watch and pray and hope that there is a god somewhere awake and listening who’ll step in and stop the madness. Speaking of which, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about being glad that the ref had to leave..imo it was Karma coming back to bit him in the arse but it missed and wound up biting him in the calf instead.

    ugh. still so frustrated (as if you couldn’t tell already).

    I just hope the guys don’t let yesterday’s second half haunt them the rest of the week and the tour.

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.04.08 17:54:37 by Milissa Reply

  • Hi KSA
    Thanks for that article – I was rather misinformed of ELV’s orgin. Guess I was far more effected than I realised by our boys loss.

    Brazen as the rest of my comment was – I still don’t think that these new rules are “enhancing” the game of rugby – I will do some stats research and compare what the try count is as opposed to last year, as well as the yellow and red card stats too.

    And I totaly agree with you – the outcome of the match can never alone be determined by the players. Infact the opposite with these new rules – it suggest that the ref’s have a much stronger influence on the game… I mean 2 yellow cards for dubious infringements or over interpretation of the law??? That would have set anyone back!!

    I am a biased Shark supporter. So the following statement holds no truth but sheer frustration (and probably a dolop of desperation too):

    A Kiwi ref just after the ‘Saders lost?
    Kankowski and Steyn – both having BRILLIANT first halves – both yellowed?? Sounds a little fishy to me…

    But that said – we did’nt play very well all 2nd half, it was a downward spiral the moment Kankowski went off…
    Even our coach seemed on the back foot – and made some rash subs – caught up in the panic that was ensuing…

    I think we should let our half back pair settle down. Its all well and good switching Kockett and Ruan and Fred, but the Sharks have’nt played a full game yet with one pair???? Perhaps that old saying “too many cooks spoil the broth” is coming back to haunt Dick Muir. Too many options coupled with out of form players are just messing with the formula.

    Even our powerful forwards look misplaced on Saturday… But that I blame on Muller. He should have settled the boys – but perhaps I’m being to harsh – maybe it was Karma out to get us for that Hurricanes’ game…

    Well I look forward to next weeks game. Though I think I will have a bottle of valium with for the 2nd half…

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.04.08 18:38:58 by The_Deleted Reply

  • clusterf**K 😆 You can see the American influence in this girl. 😆

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.04.08 18:43:26 by KSA Shark © (FJ!ELN!) Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • A Kiwi ref just after the ‘Saders lost?

    Well they coulda changed the match and let us play a kiwi team so that we could have an Aussie ref 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.04.08 18:45:25 by KSA Shark © (FJ!ELN!) Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • The Sharks’ Cousins the Dolphins won this weekend and have secured the final of the pro20 series. 😎

    The Titans have booked their place to play the Dolphins in the final in Durban, on Friday, to decide the destiny of this season’s Pro20 championship trophy.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.04.08 19:01:51 by KSA Shark © (FJ!ELN!) Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • 😆 clusterf*uck describes the second half perfectly.

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.04.08 02:55:52 by Milissa Reply


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