Sharks showed character

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Sharks on 23 Jun 2008 at 07:34

Exactly 20 years ago John Plumtree scored a try on debut for Natal in their Currie Cup match at Newlands, a game in which the Banana Boys played extremely well but lost to the powerhouse Province side.

Two decades later, in Plumtree’s debut match as head coach, his team often resembled a dog’s breakfast, but were still good enough to beat visiting Western Province 28-25, writes Mike Greenaway on

Most of the 17 000 faithful present were muttering under their breath about the quality of the Sharks’ performance, especially in the first half, when they looked muddled at best, but after the match Plumtree was not nearly as miffed as you would expect.

That is because he knows what is to come from his team over the marathon three months ahead, but mostly because he learned from this game that his team has the most important ingredients of them all – character and courage.

“The rest will come,” Plumtree said.

“I really am not worried. We have had a very short turnaround from the Super 14, lost so many guys to the Springboks and had to play many players out of position in key areas.

“The plan is to get better each week, building slowly but surely.”

The Sharks were rusty, make no mistake, and their lives were made difficult by the unerring boot of Willem de Waal, who almost kicked his team to victory.

“He aged me a bit,” Plumtree said.

“He just does not miss and the more difficult the kick, the easier he made it look. Having said that. Province pretty much had a 10 and a pack of forwards. They did not offer much more, and that is not a style of rugby I want the Sharks to play.

“Yes, we were disappointing in the first half, but I was proud of some of the rugby we played in the second half in very difficult conditions (the second half was played in very heavy rain).”

An interested observer in the stands was one Frederic Michalak. He will only be ready to play in three weeks time, but it is reassuring nonetheless for Plumtree to know that a world class flyhalf is present, willing and just about able.

“Of course he will make a big difference, but I think Bradley Barritt went quite well,” the coach said.

“He had not played there for a while and he had a very bad build up to the game. He had flu all week and then hurt his back in practice and nearly pulled out. I thought he showed great character.”

As did the hero of the night, Rory Kockott, who shook off his disappointment at not being included in the 36-man Springbok training squad with yet another man-of-the-match performance.

“Rory is having a very good year, for sure,” Plumtree said.

“Mentally he is so strong. You always know what you are going to get from him. He is a tenacious and confident young man, and he is going to get better at his game. This is only his second year in first class rugby. He has plenty of time to make the Boks.”

The Sharks host Boland this Friday night.


  • how can they bemoan the short turnaround and rustiness in the same breath? Surely those two should cancel each other out?

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.06.08 07:43:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good morning Guys,
    Pretty much the same as S14. Stormers got a soft try in 1 st half and a bunch of kicks. We came back and dominated territory and possesion in 2 nd and squeesed the victory.

    Well done Sharks

    Where is the Sharksrugby blog ?

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.06.08 09:27:56 by Ernie Reply

  • if they dont win something this year then the following should happen to appease us sharks fans.

    they should tie up the entire team, coaches and management, hand out free rotten tomatoes to the fans and let us gooi them stukkend.

    bet you they will make sure they win something in 2009 then.

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.06.08 09:59:44 by knersboy Reply

  • “Sharks showed character”… πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.06.08 10:13:16 by Charlie Reply

  • They can show all the character in the world, they still won’t win any trophies!!! πŸ™„

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.06.08 10:16:59 by wpw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :
    Rob they should cancel each other out if it was the same team playing in both competitions,it is’nt, the nucleus of the Sharks team is with the Boks, we have a new coach and have just come from a very long Super 14 with a draw from hell.

    the coach said-

    β€œI really am not worried. We have had a very short turnaround from the Super 14, lost so many guys to the Springboks and had to play many players out of position in key areas.

    β€œThe plan is to get better each week, building slowly but surely.”

    If he can do this I will be happy.

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.06.08 10:23:42 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @wpw (Comment 5) : Wiet jy Wes… πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.06.08 10:32:10 by Charlie Reply

  • Yes……the character of a damsel in distress!??????!???!!!!!!!???

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.06.08 10:45:00 by Hmmm Reply

  • Jinne!

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.06.08 11:42:33 by wpw Reply
  • Plumtree can say whatever he wants. The Province terrible twins made them come 2ndat the breakdowns and grandpa AJ gave them a real fright. Will be interest next weekend against the Bulle and hopefull Coetzee will have a nice little headache when the rest of Bokke group & emergency Bokke return.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.06.08 11:54:01 by PaarlBok Reply

  • Hey PB!

    I must say that De Waal’s boot really is quite lethal.

    We did very well at the breakdown. Siegelaar surprised me with his skills at stealing opposition ball. He was actually quite good.

    I was also impressed with the inside centre, wot’s his name? Vermeulen???

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.06.08 11:58:21 by wpw Reply
  • PJ Vermeulen, yes

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.06.08 12:00:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • So which players will be available from the Boks and Emerging Boks?


  • Comment 13, posted at 23.06.08 12:03:38 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 13) : I doubt you’ll get Grant back.

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.06.08 12:05:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • PJ is a immense talent make no mistake and dont throw Dyllie away. Will be difficult to pick now with Newman returning. Also hope Grant make the Bokke squad. He and Schalk Brits sure will add a lot to the Bokke down under because of their versatile play. Hope he get a change against the Aussies.

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.06.08 12:09:47 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 13) :

    I doubt Grant or Brits…

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.06.08 12:14:25 by Hmmm Reply

  • PB

    He looked quite good when he came on against the Italians.

    I for the life of me can’t understand why PDV started with Steyn at 10.


  • Comment 17, posted at 23.06.08 12:16:03 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 13) :

    @Hmmm (Comment 16) :

    I think the rest you mentioned and Watson….

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.06.08 12:16:04 by Hmmm Reply

  • Hmmm

    PDV will definitely be taking 46 with on tour.

    Even if he does start with Burger, Look will probably be on the bench now that Kanko is injured and Spies will probably start at 8.

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.06.08 12:17:55 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 17) :
    Propbably so he could pick up and score that first try which no one else would have. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.06.08 12:27:20 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @wpw (Comment 19) : The way 46 has played the past couple of weeks, I think he’s more suited to Number 8. With Kanko, he could be a good backup to Spies.

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.06.08 13:52:33 by Villie Reply
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  • Villie

    He played well in both tests against Wales. He did play more like a no 8.

    Kanko was popo before he got knocked the hell out.

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.06.08 13:55:55 by wpw Reply
  • Back to the Sharks. We desperately need a number 7 flank. Can’t believe that with all the investment in the academy we don’t have someone that is good enough to step up to the plate? πŸ™„

    Not sure what is up with Waylon but he’s lost total confidence and is nowhere near the same player he was last season.
    Would like Barritt back at 12 as soon as possible but that creates a problem because Strauss was one of the better backline players on Friday

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.06.08 14:04:03 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @wpw (Comment 22) : I meant with Kanko OUT.

    I don’t have a problem with 46 in the Bok squad. Just don’t think he is specialist number 6.

    Kanko is still very much a work in progress…raw with a few areas he still needs to work on…but he had an awesome Super 14. Boks are fortunate to have both him and Spies!

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.06.08 14:08:27 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • I know Villie.

    Kanko would’ve been gr8 against NZ and the Wallabies.

    I would still have prefered him at 8 instead of Spies.

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.06.08 14:10:57 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 22) : at this rate you’re gonna wear out your spoon πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.06.08 16:01:24 by robdylan Reply
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